With responsibilities varying depending on the industry in which the job takes place, the dispatcher job description can be hugely different from one employer to another. Also called public safety telecommunicators, the men and women who work as dispatchers for emergency services are easily some of the most focused individuals out there. The same quality applies to all types of dispatchers, be they in logistics, in an airport, in a tow truck company, in security, or otherwise employed. Read on to learn what are a her dispatcher’s roles and responsibilities
Job Overview: What Does A Dispatcher Do?
Here we will mainly focus on the emergency dispatcher job description. But if relevant we will occasionally mention where other dispatcher job descriptions vary. Whether we’re talking about the police dispatcher job description or the transportation dispatcher job description, they both have a lot of responsibilities in common. While EMS workers actually have more responsibilities and a much more stressful job.
Dispatcher Job Duties
- Operating a multi-line console telephone system.
- Determining and assigning the priority level of a code.
- Operating computer equipment, a radio console, and an alert system.
- Operating a TDD system for the hearing impaired.
- Translating information to the appropriate codes.
- Entering the data into the computer system.
- Performing emergency medical dispatch and crisis intervention services.
- Providing instructions before the arrival of the emergency response team.
- Handling the reception and responding to a wide array of emergency and non-emergency complaints and services.
- Asking questions and determining the caller situation via interpretation, analyses, and anticipation.
- Providing information and helping with solving problems.
- Dispatching emergency services and coordinating the response of various public safety agencies as necessary.
- Identifying the type of equipment, apparatus, or number to use under different circumstances.
- Entering and changing information in national, state, and local computer databases.
- Monitoring and responding to a number of alarms and technical systems.
Dispatcher Essential Skills
Interpersonal Skills. A good dispatcher must be able to develop and keep professional and cooperative relations with colleagues. As well as with supervisors and representatives from other departments.
Communication Skills. The dispatcher job description also implies having great active listening skills. They must also posses a good hearing and have a clear speech. As well as be able to communicate effectively and to follow complex instructions.
Decision-making Skills. This professional must be able to use judgment and evaluate situations, establish priorities, as well as quickly resolve issues. They must have confidence as well as use reason and logic to approach problems and reach conclusions.
Writing Skills. Good writing and spelling skills means the ability to write clearly and spell correctly. This is very important for a professional with the dispatcher job position. As is the ability to follow instructions, establish priorities, and pass on information as needed.
Becoming a Dispatcher Professional
As for the requirements of the job, other than a high school diploma and a certification in a number of states there are also a number of personal and technical requirements that must be met for the candidate to be considered for the position. Whether one is applying for the flight dispatcher, towing company dispatcher, trucking service dispatcher, train safety supervising dispatcher, but especially for a position as an EMS dispatcher, the personal and technical skill sets are the same, as well as the requests for education and training requirements.
Qualifications & Training
Most companies in need of dispatchers, be they for an alarm system company, for a cab dispatch, or even for coordinating bus drivers offer training on the job. Even if the potential employee has experience as a dispatcher, some procedures can be totally different from one company to another.
Of course, one of the most important training programs for any dispatcher job position takes place for future 911 dispatchers. Particularly for those wishing to get a certification, the training programs usually take place either through a national association, through the state, or both. In that respect, you can also have a look at the EMT job description.
This is one those types of jobs where experience isn’t at all mandatory. But where it can make all the difference. Of course, particularly when talking about EMS dispatch, most employers tend to hire people who can work under pressure and who know what they’re doing. So, while it isn’t mandatory to have experience in order to get the job, it’s certainly an advantage to have some.
Other types of dispatcher positions tend to focus less on experience and more on the personal skills of each candidate. If lives aren’t on the line, an employer would much rather have someone qualified to get the job done rather than someone who is simply effective and straight-to-the-point.
Most police, ambulance, and fire dispatchers tend to work in highly stressful environments. This isn’t owed to just the calls they receive, but also to their constant chaotic schedules. The long, tiring hours, combined with the constant need for emergency services makes the dispatcher job description a very exhausting one.
Emergency dispatchers often have to work overtime, weekend, nights, and holidays. Plus, 12 hour shifts tend to be very common. As for the other types of dispatchers, it all depends on the company of employment. Plus, experience is also a factor. A dispatch manager will always have priority for a reduced work day over an assistant.
Regardless of whether they work in EMS – be it police or ambulance –, as a courier, as an airline clerk, in a warehouse, or even on an aircraft or HVAC, dispatchers must be available to work at all times. Because of the extra-long work days and highly stressful work environment, all dispatchers are required to have nerves of steel, quick reflexes, and very quick wit.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
There is both good news and bad news when talking about the job outlook of your average dispatcher. First of all, the employment levels of people with the Police, Fire, or Ambulance dispatcher job description should rise 8% by 2026, that is as fast as the average for all other occupations.
This job is of an extremely stressful nature, combined with the low pay and the highly competitive environment lead to a great number of workers to constantly leave the occupation. However that leaves room for new hires, so there are always open positions as an emergency dispatcher.
Most emergency dispatch workers are only required to have a high school degree. While in many states it’s common for the average operator to have to become certified. With a median salary of $39,476 per year, the dispatcher job description is one that is learned in days and mastered in a lifetime.
Perhaps one of the most stressful jobs in the world, being a dispatcher can take a lot out of anyone. The dispatcher job description is no easy task, as any aspiring candidate is required to possess a number of personal qualities to succeed in the field. For those interested, you can find a sample dispatcher resume by clicking this link.