Working as a Dispatcher

Being a telecommunications operator can be a very rewarding and fulfilling profession. It requires both physical skills and mental abilities. A dispatcher must be able to make decisions and act on them with limited time and information in situations where there is an element of danger. He or she must be able to deal with people in a variety of emotional states, while remaining calm and professional. Rigorous entry standards are absolutely necessary to ensure that dispatchers are able to meet the physical and mental demands of the job.

Job Requirements:

High school diploma or GED or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job

  • Knowledge of computer operations sufficient to enter, retrieve and manipulate data
  • Ability to read and follow oral and written instructions
  • Net Keyboard/typing speed of 40 wpm or better(Gross minus errors = Net)
  • Effectively prioritize situations and make decisions based on the information received
  • Ability to hear and understand multiple sound sources
  • Able to handle multiple tasks to receive and communicate information to and from several sources ensuring calls for service are dispatched and monitored in a timely manner
  • Work under stressful conditions and react appropriately using good judgment
  • Availability to work shifts, including nights, weekends and holidays
  • Willingness to maintain respectful working relationships with co-workers, supervisors and the general public
  • Possess a clear and understandable radio and telephone voice

Qualities of a good dispatcher include:

  • High moral character and integrity
  • Compassion
  • Good judgment
  • High degree of emotional self control
  • Empathy and sensitivity
  • Intelligence
  • Good communication skills
  • Self confidence
  • Creativity and ingenuity
  • Strong desire to serve the community
  • Effective at multi-tasking

Special Requirements:

  • Must be CPR, EMD and NCIC certified. Certification must be attained within a reasonable amount of time upon appointment to position
  • Must pass a criminal background investigation, polygraph exam, and be free of felony convictions
  • Must pass pre-employment screening test, including a psychological exam, hearing test,and physical exam

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to sit, talk and hear
  • Ability to use hands and fingers to handle, feel or operate objects, tools or controls
  • Ability to reach with hands and arms
  • Ability to occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds
  • Vision abilities include close vision and ability to adjust focus
  • Ability to function in work environment with moderate noise level from several sources creating constant activity

Dispatchers perform the following duties:

  • Answer 9-1-1 and non-emergency phone calls from the public and dispatch appropriate law enforcement, fire or EMS units
  • Operate computerized telephone, radio and mapping systems
  • Provide emergency medical instructions (EMD) over the phone
  • Monitor and dispatch multiple agencies
  • Maintain contact with caller throughout an emergency and update responding personnel of the changing situation
  • Activate civil defense sirens and pagers for emergencies and inclement weather
  • Attend special and periodical training programs on a continuing basis
  • Maintain a thorough working knowledge of all other public safety communications systems used at the dispatch center and throughout the RRRDC, including:
  • Console Call Repeaters
  • Video Cameras
  • Alarms and Warning Lights
  • Siren, paging, and radio control back-up equipment
  • Monitor and direct emergency and non-emergency dispatches utilizing call prioritization, all/incident location identification, and intra-departmental responses following RRRDC’s policies to minimize potential dangers to the community and first responders