Prior to start your career as a 911 dispatcher it’s important to receive the proper training and education that you will need to complete the responsibilities of the career.
Alaska is a beautiful state that is home to many people from all over the world. Sadly, because of the rocky terrain that brings a lot of thrill seekers year in, year out, 911 operators spend a lot of time deal with crisis situations. In addition, Alaska has the country’s highest rate of suicide as well as experiences the country’s greatest per capita rates of alcohol-related incidents. As a result, 911 operators are in high demand in the state of Alaska.
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College graduates make for some of the best 911 operator candidates because of their ability to think critically and problem solve. Other useful skills that are obtained through a college education include:
- Knowledge of landmarks, terrain and locales. 911 operators need to know the city in which they are working in order to provide the best directors to emergency service response teams.
- Powerful leader. 911 operators are the on the front lines of crisis situations and for this reason they need to possess strong leadership abilities to ensure the safety of victims and law enforcement officers.
- Energetic. 911 operators have to be able and willing to work long hours including vacations and weekends.
- Multilingual. There are numerous languages that are spoken in the state of Alaska. It may benefit a nominee significantly to communicate in several languages.
As stated previously, a college degree can benefit an aspiring 911 operator greatly. Throughout the state of Alaska, you can find an abundence of programs that will provide you with the skills you will need to effective operate as a 911 dispatcher. Majors that are the most beneficial include:
- B.S. in Communications
- B.S. in Psychology
- B.S. in Criminal Justice
Some have found that information technology coursework is helpful in the field, as well.
Furthermore, given that 9-1-1 dispatchers can be hired at multiple levels, for this reason, there may be some variation in the requirements needed for each position, in most cases, prospects will need to be certified in order to be employed. Which certification is needed will be up to the hiring body.
Crisis Dispatchers in Alaska: Place of Employment
The state of Alaska is rather large and will have multiple dispatcher facilities set up around the cities. Some possible cities of employment are:
- Anchorage – Anchorage is Alaska most populous city, having a population of 291,826 in 2016.
- Fairbanks – It’s the state’s second most populous region.
- Juneau – The capital city of Alaska, Juneau is has nearly the same amount of residents as Fairbanks with a population of over 31,000
Regardless of the city that you are employed there will be requirements set by the state of Alaska that need to be completed those include:
- Must finish Emergency Medical Dispatcher certificate (EMD) within 3 months of hire
- Required to finish Crisis Fire Dispatcher certificate (EFD) within 3 months of hire
- Possess CPR Certification
- Have the ability to type 35 words per minute
Those looking to become 911 dispatchers in Alaska should get to know some of the organizations that set the standards for emergency services and assist those working in the field. These groups include:
- The National Emergency Number Association
- The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch
- The APCO
In the state of Alaska, 911 operators take home an excellent living for the service they provide to their communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average dispatcher in Alaska earns $50,700 per year.