USA Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
USA Insider 9-1-1

What’s The Training Needed To Become A 9-1-1 Dispatcher?

Being a 911 dispatcher requires one to be an excellent multitasker, a good listener, and able to keep calm under pressure.

By Becca van Sambeck
911 Dispatcher Training

The characters on “9-1-1” —Bobby Nash (Peter Krause), Athena Grant (Angela Bassett), Ethan Buckley (Oliver Stark), and more — are constantly saving the day during all kinds of emergencies. After watching the heroics performed by these Los Angeles responders, you may be wondering: How does one become a 911 dispatcher?

Well, the job requires one to be an excellent multitasker, a good listener, and able to keep calm under pressure. If you think you have those qualities, then it’s time to look into officially applying at an emergency dispatch center.

After your application is accepted, potential employees are invited to a shadow interview at the center to see exactly what working as a 911 operator entails, according to Oxygen series “911 Dispatch Center,” which chronicles the day-to-day lives of workers at a Cleveland-area dispatch center. If it still feels like the right role, applicants then move on to a formal interview.

Once you’re hired, a thorough training process begins. It can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, with trainees learning the ropes of a shift and studying a manual that has instructions for handling all kinds of minor emergencies: administering CPR, treating stab wounds, determining what to do in poison situations, de-escalating threats, and more. Trainees are closely watched during this stage and regularly evaluated, according to “911 Crisis Center.”

But the training portion does eventually end — and then 911 dispatchers get to finally work on their own, without a trainer overseeing them. An exciting job that makes a genuine impact in people’s lives awaits!

Watch “9-1-1” on USA Network on Thursdays  to see some of the wild and jaw-dropping situations the Los Angeles-area emergency responders experience.

Four episodes of "9-1-1" air on USA Network back-to-back on Thursdays starting at 7/6c.

Read more about: