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Police, Fire, & Ambulance Dispatchers

Also called: Communications Officer, Communications Operator, Dispatcher, Public Safety Dispatcher

Where in the military? In the military: see titles from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps.

What they do:
Operate radio, telephone, or computer equipment at emergency response centers. Receive reports from the public of crimes, disturbances, fires, and medical or police emergencies. Relay information to law enforcement and emergency response personnel. May maintain contact with caller until responders arrive.
On the job, you would:
  • Question callers to determine their locations, and the nature of their problems to determine type of response needed.
  • Determine response requirements and relative priorities of situations, and dispatch units in accordance with established procedures.
  • Record details of calls, dispatches, and messages.

Knowledge

Business
  • customer service
  • administrative services
Safety and Government
  • public safety and security
  • law and government
Communications
  • telecommunications
  • multimedia
Arts and Humanities
  • English language

Skills

Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • talking to others
Social
  • understanding people's reactions
  • changing what is done based on other people's actions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it

Abilities

Verbal
  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Attention
  • pay attention to something without being distracted
  • do two or more things at the same time
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
Visual Understanding
  • quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things

Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Self Control
  • Integrity
  • Concern for Others

Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Data base user interface and query software
  • 911 system information databases
  • Law enforcement information databases
Helpdesk or call center software
  • Computer aided dispatch software
  • Spillman Technologies Spillman Computer-Aided Dispatch
Office suite software
  • Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
  • Microsoft Office software

Education

Education: (rated 2 of 5)
high school diploma/GED
usually needed

Get started on your career:

Find Certifications Registered Apprenticeship

Job Outlook

Below Average Outlook
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$38,010
per year, on average
Check out my state Local Salary Info Find Jobs

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See more details at O*NET OnLine about police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers.