Apparatus & Equipment, Fire EMS, Firefighter Training

Report Examines Missouri 911 Dispatcher Training

A recent news report examined 911 dispatcher training in the state of Missouri, saying the requirements fall shorter than many other professions.

KMIZ reports ( that the state only requires 40 hours of training for a joint communications dispatcher and even less, just 16 hours, for fire and police dispatchers. This is far less than that required to be a licensed cosmetologist or barber, an inexact comparison as the state does not issue licenses for joint communications dispatchers.

Handling the Mayday: The Fire Dispatcher’s Crucial Role

Some dispatchers told reporters that better standards need to be in place. In Columbia-Boone County, dispatch operators are required to have certifications for emergency fire dispatch, emergency police dispatch, and emergency medical dispatch.

Across the United States there is no standard for 911 dispatchers. According to the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, 21 states have no minimum training requirement for dispatchers.

Read further details about the situation in Missouri at