Within the United States, there are now more than 6,000 primary and secondary public safety answering points (PSAPs), all of which are staffed by professionals who are highly trained and skilled in emergency communications.
911 Dispatcher jobs require excellent communication skills and the ability to work under stressful situations. Through gathering of information, 911 Dispatchers are then able to dispatch the appropriate responders or transfer the call to the responsible agency. Many 911 Dispatchers are also certified in EMD and able to provide medical instructions to the caller until emergency responders arrive.
Essential job functions within a 911 Dispatcher’s job description may include the following:
- Operate a multi-line telephone console system, alerting system, and TDD system for the deaf and hearing-impaired
- Translate information to the appropriate codes
- Determine and assign the level of priority of the call and enter the data into a dispatch system for radio dispatch purposes
- Ask vital questions and provide pre-arrival instructions for emergency medical calls
- Monitor and operate a radio console and computer equipment
- Receive and respond to a variety of emergency and non-emergency services and complaints
- Ask questions to interpret, analyze and anticipate the caller’s situation as to resolve problems, provide information, dispatch emergency services, or refer callers to other agencies
- Dispatch and coordinate the responses of public safety agencies
- Identify appropriate type of equipment or apparatus to dispatch
- Enters and modifies information into local, state and national computer databases
- Monitor and respond to a variety of technical systems and alarms
- Monitor weather and send appropriate notifications
911 Dispatchers are the professionals that ensure that citizens receive the best emergency communications and dispatch services by remaining calm, gathering information, and providing assistance to individuals in need.