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Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Emergency Medical Dispatcher

Emergency medical dispatchers, or EMDs, are vital members of the emergency response system. They are usually the first professionals to receive an emergency call about a suddenly ill or injured person. They respond to 9-1-1 and other emergency calls by dispatching the appropriate medical or rescue personnel (police, fire, ambulance, etc.) to the scene. EMDs must be able to manage all incoming calls and carefully question the caller in order to determine the type of emergency that exists, the geographical location of the incident, and the extent of any injuries suffered. They also stay in contact with EMTs in the ambulance so that they can better coordinate with the medical staff at area hospitals. This requires an individual that works well under pressure and is able to solve problems quickly. Emergency medical dispatchers may also be called upon to give a caller instructions over the phone until emergency service professionals arrive. Some examples of this are keeping themselves and the victim calm, giving CPR, delivering a baby, or stopping life-threatening bleeding. EMDs must be able to maintain detailed records of information that is received and any services that are needed. This profession also requires an individual to be comfortable with sophisticated computer and telecommunications equipment, as well as have exceptional communication skills.

Work Environment:

Emergency medical dispatchers usually work out of dispatch centers in a variety of settings, including police stations, fire stations, hospitals, or an independent city or county program. This profession can be very demanding and stressful so the dispatcher must be able to respond quickly and efficiently in critical situations.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in a career as an emergency medical dispatcher should take high school courses in algebra, biology, English, psychology, computer skills, typing, first aid, public speaking, foreign languages, telephone communications, and health occupations/medical professions education.

College Requirements:

Individuals interested in emergency medical dispatching should have a high school diploma or equivalent. Educational and training requirements vary greatly depending upon the employer. EMDs often have a background in communications and receive some form of on-the-job training. They need to be able to speak clearly, know basic first aid procedures, and learn how to operate sophisticated telecommunications equipment. EMDs must be certified through a state-recognized program. Students interested in emergency medical dispatching should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

There are no recognized emergency medical dispatcher programs available in Mississippi at this time. Individuals interested in basic and advanced training in emergency medical dispatching should contact the professional organizations to the right for information on times and locations of courses. Courses are taught often and vary greatly in length.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
 click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for emergency medical dispatchers should be excellent in the near future. There is an expected growth in the job market of 10%-20% over the next decade. There is a national trend for all public safety agencies to consolidate activities under a single 9-1-1 communications center. All of these centers will require trained EMDs to manage the medical emergencies that arise. Population growth is also having a positive affect on employment, since all these new areas that are becoming populated need full-time emergency services personnel to handle the increased workload. Anyone who can remain calm in emergency situations and possesses good communication skills should consider a career in emergency medical dispatching.





Average Annual Salary

Salary Range


Professional Organizations:

National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch
139 East South Temple, Suite 530
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone: (800) 960-6236
Fax: (801) 359-0996

Association of

Public-Safety Communications Officials

International, Inc.
2040 South Ridgewood
South Daytona, FL 32119-8437
Phone: (904) 322-2500



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