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911 Operator Job Description

Rahul Thadani
When an emergency befalls a person, the first number he/she calls for assistance is 911. Read the 911 operator job description to learn more about the duties and responsibilities, especially if you are interested in becoming one yourself.
A person who receives emergency 911 calls is known as an emergency dispatcher, and this is a very vital job, as the lives of people are at stake. The work is certainly not dull, as the individual will have to face new and different challenges on a daily basis.
It requires a sense of urgency and recognizing danger that can end up being valuable to the person who has made the call. It is important for you to know the 911 operator job description in order to understand what the work comprises and how it is executed.

Vital Points to Remember

  • When people call 911, they can be in need of immediate police assistance, medical assistance or any other such aids. It is essential and mandatory to take down all the necessary details as quickly as possible and inform the concerned authorities and ensure that they arrive at the scene quickly. This work should not be taken lightly under any circumstances.
  • This work is not for fainthearted and indecisive people, as most calls will require the person to take initiative and inform the right authorities. This initiative can only be gained from a conscious decision to help people and be of assistance to them.
  • The duties require the dispatcher to be alert and intuitive at all times and sense any lurking danger.

Job Description

What things need to be done and what precautions need to be followed, are all taught to the operator beforehand, but they should also come from within. As mentioned before, this work is not to be taken lightly, and requires a lot of commitment and will power. The many duties and responsibilities are as follows:
  • Receive emergency and non-emergency calls and messages from the public and respond to them appropriately.
  • Respond to these calls in the right manner and inform the concerned authorities immediately.
  • Dispatch agencies or units who can provide assistance to the right address after highlighting the importance of the situation.
  • Prioritize calls and dispatches based on their importance, and take the right decision.
  • Operate on police radio frequencies to monitor and coordinate various police activities and assignments.
  • Maintain knowledge of the location and the status of various security personnel.
  • Create accurate logs of all public communications that have been undertaken for the purpose of general safety of the people.
  • Provide information for investigative purposes by making use of data and information available in sensitive security databases.
  • Maintain files and records for cases that require assistance in the future.
  • Maintain confidentiality of all the information dealt with.
  • Submit progress reports on trainees, provide on-the-job training for police dispatchers and stay informed of all departmental regulations and procedures.
By studying these points, one can get a better idea about what the job actually involves, and if one is suited for it.


This work requires a lot of training, which can only be received practically, and a background search of an individual will also be carried out upon their application to ensure that they do not have a criminal background. Since the work involves dealing with a lot of sensitive information, choosing the right people for the task is imperative.
Along with these stipulations, it is mandatory that the individual is at least 18 years old, a United States citizen, and also possess a high school diploma or a G.E.D (General Educational Development) credential.
A good command over English will be a major help, and knowing Spanish is also optional. These operators work behind the scenes to give assistance to people as fast as possible, and this is an activity that not many people of the general public know about. But the thought of helping out these people should convince you that this is the right career for you.