All About Emergency Dispatchers
Emergency Dispatcher Job Description 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.
Emergency Dispatcher Responsibilities
- Scan status charts and computer screens, and contact emergency response field units to determine emergency units available for dispatch.
- Read and effectively interpret small-scale maps and information from a computer screen to determine locations and provide directions.
- Receive incoming telephone or alarm system calls regarding emergency and non-emergency police and fire service, emergency ambulance service, information, and after-hours calls for departments within a city.
- Test and adjust communication and alarm systems, and report malfunctions to maintenance units.
- Enter, update, and retrieve information from teletype networks and computerized data systems regarding such things as wanted persons, stolen property, vehicle registration, and stolen vehicles.
- Relay information and messages to and from emergency sites, to law enforcement agencies, and to all other individuals or groups requiring notification.
Skills Needed to be an Emergency Dispatcher
Below is a list of the skills most Emergency Dispatchers say are important on the job.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Related Job Titles
- Ambulance Dispatcher
- Police Radio Dispatcher
- Communications Officer
- Communications Operator
Is There Going to be Demand for Emergency Dispatchers?
There were about 98,600 jobs for Emergency Dispatcher in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,100 new jobs for Emergency Dispatcher by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 10,000 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Emergency Dispatcher are Utah, Texas, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Maryland, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Emergency Dispatcher Average Salary
Emergency Dispatchers make between $26,590 and $63,930 a year.
Emergency Dispatchers who work in California, Alaska, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Emergency Dispatchers in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$50,600|
Tools & Technologies Used by Emergency Dispatchers
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Emergency Dispatchers:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
- National Crime Information Center NCIC database
- Law enforcement information databases
- Computer aided dispatch software
Becoming an Emergency Dispatcher
What education is needed to be an Emergency Dispatcher?
How Long Does it Take to Become an Emergency Dispatcher?
Where Emergency Dispatchers Work
Emergency Dispatchers work in the following industries:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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