911 Dispatcher Requirements and Certification

Meeting 911 dispatcher requirements involves knowing about the specific organizations that provide the appropriate certifications. With training being an invaluable aspect of a 911 dispatcher’s long-term success, it is important to familiarize yourself with programs 911 dispatcher certification. These worthwhile training programs can exist throughout national associations and the state government.

What Are My Options for Certification as a 911 Dispatcher?

Explore your options for 911 operator certification or what is commonly referred to as 911 dispatcher certification:

  • Some states utilize dispatcher training at basic level through associations (that are national).
  • Some states approve national certification instead of the state training.
  • Some states require training by at least one national association (beyond state training).

Learn How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in your State

It is often recommended to have 911 dispatchers seek out certification that extends beyond mere state requirements in order to enhance their competitiveness and properly position themselves to optimize opportunities for professional advancement.

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Below we have outlined some important links and organizations that are crucial to 911 dispatcher certification and long-term dispatcher success.

Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) Certification

The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO)

The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) offers formal training for the Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) level and is structured on the NHSTA’s National Standard Curriculum. Success with this important course affords students the chance to satisfy the National Standard Curriculum.

After success with the EMD program, qualified dispatchers will be positioned to work with calls that are medically-oriented. Through the helpful use of locally approved guide cards (EMD), 911 dispatchers are able to determine the priorities of emergency calls, implement the proper emergency resources, and offer callers guidelines for how to work with the patient prior to help arriving.

The APCO modifies the guide cards (EMD) in accord the training requirements that are local and via instructors that have APCO-certification.

Subjects covered for the program (EMD) involve the following:

  • Obtaining Information from Callers
  • Roles and Responsibilities (EMD)
  • Management of Stress
  • Quality Assurance and Re-certification
  • Allocation of resources
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • EMD National and State Standards
  • EMD Legal and Liability Issues

In order to attain certification for EMD, students should have accomplished a training program for basic telecommunicator (40-hour) and maintain current CPR certification from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or an organization that is comparable.

Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) Certification

The APCO also provides the Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL) certification via its Leadership Certification program. RPL-designated 911 dispatchers can work up to the level of the APCO Institute Registry of Public-Safety Leaders. Important areas that are covered that are integral to the RPL program involve the following:

  • Enhancement of team performance
  • Leadership with confidence and integrity
  • Creation and management of teams that are high-performance
  • Communication with authority
  • Reduction of barriers via interpersonal negotiations
  • Creation of a difference within APCO and within the public safety communications industry
  • Application of skill sets to improve APCO, as well as the public safety communications industry

An eligible candidate for RPL Certification should be an international member of APCO remaining with good standing and with dedication to cultivating continual leadership and progress in the public safety communications field.

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA)

(NENA) The National Emergency Number Association, offers multiple 911 dispatcher training programs. NENA and the Education Advisory Board presently provide several courses on various operations topics related to 911 technology and PSAPs.

A premier certification program offered is the (ENP), Emergency Number Professional, which was created to raise the bar of emergency dispatcher performance. Candidates are able to take the exams for ENP 4 times a year at facilities for testing located through Canada and the U.S.

Discover 911 dispatcher programs that are a match for you!

The ENP certification eligible candidates should, at the very minimum, have the following criteria, as formally mandated through the Institute Board for NENA:

  • three years experience with emergency communications; or
  • three years experience as a commercial provider of services and products for emergency communications; as well as the following:

Ten total points that are accomplished through:

  • Each year of additional experience beyond three years in emergency communications counts for two points, up to a maximum of ten points
  • Education
    • Associate degree equals two points
    • Bachelor degree equals four points
    • Graduate degree equals six points
  • Professional development/service
    • NENA courses equal one point each, for up to four points
    • A NENA office position at the chapter, or national level equals one point
    • Additional professional certifications equal 1 point

The ENP certification remains valid for up to four years. Keep in mind that re-certification can be accomplished through completion of several activities related to emergency communications that include the following:

  • activities for emergency communications
  • public safety conferences participation
  • public safety advisory boards and NENA committees participation

The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED)
The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) provides numerous training and certification opportunities, including the following:

  • certification for Emergency Telecommunicator
  • certification for Emergency Medical Dispatcher
  • certification for Emergency Police Dispatcher
  • certification for Emergency Fire Dispatcher

Emergency Telecommunicator Certification (ETC)

The Emergency Telecommunicator Certification (ETC), is designed for new 911 dispatchers. Coursework in the ETC program includes the following important subjects:

  • Medical Call Classification
  • Classification for Police Call
  • Essentials for Telecommunication
  • Quality Improvement
  • Manmade and Natural Catastrophic Events
  • Emergency Telecommunication Technologies
  • Caller Management
  • Classification for Fire Call
  • Public Safety Communication (Legal Aspects of )
  • Management of Stress
  • The Roles and Responsibilities of the Emergency Telecommunicator

Emergency Fire Dispatcher (EFD) Certification

The certification for (EFD) Emergency Fire Dispatcher is created for fire-rescue dispatchers. The intensive 3-day course involves actual and simulated calls, participation in class, plus an immersive teaching approach. Once an EFD course (approved) has been accomplished, candidates should conquer a written exam (50-questions), scoring a minimum of eighty percent.

Emergency Police Dispatch (EPD) Certification

The (EPD) Emergency Police Dispatch is created for law enforcement dispatchers. For EPD certification, candidates should be involved in a 3-day course and show accomplishment on a written test (50-question); attaining a score of a minimum of 80 percent for certification.

911 Dispatcher Certification Options and Accreditation

Explore certification options and other services available through the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED).

The IAED provides certification that is specialized for quality assurance personnel, call center managers (emergency), police, fire, and emergency medical dispatch center instructors and high level supervisors:

  • Emergency Dispatch Quality Assurance Certification for Medical, Fire and Police dispatchers (ED-Q)
  • Executive Certification
  • Communication Center Manager Certification
  • Instructor Certification
    • Instructor (EMD)
    • Instructor (EFD)
    • Instructor (EPD)

The IAED provides unique Active Assailant (Shooter) of the Police Priority Dispatch System (PPDS) certification (created to equip emergency telecommunicators to effectively handle calls germane to “in progress” indiscriminate attacks). This is an important course that empowers emergency dispatch personnel to develop the critical skills needed to professionally handle these dangerous scenarios involving an active shooter.

Beyond professional certification, the IAED provides accreditation services to dispatch centers (emergency-related), bestowing the highly reputable Accredited Centers of Excellence credential on call centers that comply with the lofty IAED expectations.

We are here to help you attain the 911 Dispatcher Requirements and certifications that you need.