911 Center: Training
Each newly hired dispatcher begins their career at 9-1-1 with four weeks of in house out of the center training. During each new dispatcher class, trainees begin learning not only the policies for the Missoula City Police Department and Missoula County Sheriff's Office but various policies covering our 12 fire departments and various ambulance services. Dispatchers also spend one week on intensive training in taking medical calls. Missoula County 9-1-1 dispatchers are Emergency Medical Dispatchers, this assist both dispatchers and the public by making sure that the right help gets to the right patient. Emergency Medical Dispatchers can provide life saving medical direction over the phone until help arrives on scene.
Following classroom training, new dispatchers begin working in the 9-1-1 Center plugged in with a seasoned dispatcher, throughout the next several weeks the seasoned dispatcher will help coach our newest hires through the various types of calls the Missoula County 9-1-1 Center takes. By the end of this period, our newest hires will be ready to solo at the call taking and fire medical dispatch positions. No dispatcher is truly alone, since there is a dedicated team working in the room with them, ready to answer questions and help out where needed.
New Dispatchers also must attend a 40 hour Public Safety Communicators Course at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in Helena. This is a mandatory course that all dispatchers in Montana must attend. Some of Missoula's 9-1-1 Dispatchers are Instructors at this course.
Missoula Dispatchers Attend MLEA
After being hired, Missoula County Dispatchers attend the Montana Law Enforcement Acadamy with dispatchers from around the state. During this training, dispatchers go through extensive training in a wide variety of areas from the use of TTY's and the CJIN (Criminal Justice Information Network). Click here to go to the MLEA website.