Clark County 911 Dispatchers Tackle a Tough Job – and They’re Hiring

But it is not an easy process to start answering emergency calls. Agency spokesman Eric Frank warns that the position is a career, not just a job, and applicants should be prepared for a demanding year of training with an ever-changing schedule.

Candidates do not need a university degree or any prior training. They don’t even have to know all of Clark County because that’s part of the training academy, Frank said. Candidates will take a test to measure their keyboarding, memorization and recall skills, which Frank says has a 60% pass rate.

Many current dispatchers have said they are drawn to the dynamic pace of work and the fact that no two days are the same. Jennifer Melton loves when she puts a problem together, like a puzzle, collaborating with her co-workers to connect multiple calls they’ve received throughout the day.

Frank noted a call the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency received about a person in trouble at a local river. Rescuers were too far away to get to the person in a timely manner, so a dispatcher started calling. The dispatcher found someone with a private boat nearby who could get to the person much faster.

“It’s life or death”

Agency supervisor Jodi Gaylord said she approaches each call as if she’s leading the caller down a hallway with doors on all sides, representing police, firefighters, paramedics, crisis negotiators , mental health providers and many other services. It’s her job to get everyone through the right door, she said.

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