A 911 dispatcher receives emergency and non-emergency calls, advising callers and dispatching emergency units to specific locations as necessary. The job description of a 911 dispatcher involves a familiarity with police codes, the efficient operation of a police radio dispatch system, and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
A 911 dispatcher receives calls, dispatches emergency vehicles to emergency locations as necessary, advises callers on the best course of action while on the line, prioritizes emergency situations as needed, and transfers any non-emergency calls as necessary.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a 911 Dispatcher
- Receives emergency calls.
- Asks caller to describe the nature of the emergency and asks follow up questions as necessary.
- Takes down location and personal information of the caller.
- Dispatches available emergency units to the proper location.
- Keeps callers on the line when necessary.
- Advises callers on proper course of actions, calms down, and documents their condition until emergency units arrive.
- Maintains logs of all calls and dispatched units.
- Enters call information and records into database.
- Prioritizes simultaneous emergency scenarios.
- Stays up to date on location and activity of emergency units in the area.
- Monitors activity of emergency vehicles and on-duty personnel during shift.
- Receives non-emergency calls.
- Advises callers on how to handle non-emergency situation, and transfers callers to proper department.
- Submits call logs and caller information to law enforcement and legal officials when necessary.
- Testifies in court when called to do so.
- Reports any fraudulent or prank emergency calls to supervisor.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Demonstrates knowledge of police codes and law enforcement terminology.
- Possesses knowledge of the function and types of police radio frequencies.
- Exhibits ability to remain calm in a crisis.
- Demonstrates excellent listening skills.
- Communicates clearly and effectively.
- Pays close attention to detail.
- Is capable of using radio dispatch system.
- Possesses ability to remain alert for long shifts.
- Demonstrates ability to work quickly and efficiently.
- Possesses strong problem-solving and analytical skills.
- Exhibits strong organizational abilities.
- Is capable of determining which emergency situations require the most immediate attention.
- Demonstrates the ability to multitask efficiently.
- Possesses mental and emotional strength necessary to deal with stressful situations for long period of time.
- Is capable of articulating instructions clearly in writing and speech.
Education and Experience
- High school diploma or GED required.
- Job-specific training required prior to start date.
- Working hours will be spent in dispatch office, receiving and directing calls.
- The majority of time will be spent sitting at a computer and/or radio dispatch unit.
- Environment can be highly stressful and fast-paced.
- Some travel to provide court testimony may be necessary.
- Shifts vary from day to night.
- The average salary for a 911 dispatcher is between $33,000 and $37,000 per year.
- The top paid dispatchers can make up to $55,000 per year.