Emergency dispatchers are an integral part of the 911 system – they are who the public turns to during some of their most distressing times. This rewarding career allows you to serve your community and help people in need.
Dispatchers are the bridge between the public and emergency services. While they often fly under the radar, it is the dispatcher community who deal with some of the toughest phone calls and situations, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a lot of responsibility resting on the shoulders of emergency dispatchers.
To become a dispatcher, you need skills that allow you to stay calm in stressful situations and communicate clearly with callers and law enforcement. In this BizTalk, our experts have listed 7 skills for 911 dispatchers and why they are important in 2021.
7 must have skills for Emergency Dispatchers:
1. Technological skills
Today, most call and communication centres use computer programs to receive, record and manage calls. Emergency dispatchers need the technical skills to use computers, software, radios and recording equipment. Specifically, they should understand or take courses to learn computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems, which automate some dispatch responsibilities so law enforcement can respond faster and have more organized case records. They should also be able to operate multi-line phone systems and emergency alert systems and enter case information into local and national databases.
2. Directional skills
Dispatchers should be familiar with the jurisdiction they work in, including its major streets and highways, landmarks, buildings, waterways and boundaries. They need to determine where individuals are when receiving descriptions of their location because callers might not have a physical address or know where they are. Emergency dispatchers then need to give clear directions, addresses and instructions to first responders. They should also be able to quickly and easily read maps to find routes, locations and addresses.
A compassionate dispatcher helps to address the needs of each caller’s unique situation. Being able to deal with various types of situations willingly and compassionately requires a special type of person, and that’s what makes a great dispatcher different from others.
4. Decision Making
Emergency dispatchers should have good judgment skills and the ability to make decisions quickly. They prioritize calls by the level of importance, so they need to recognize the difference between emergencies and non emergencies. Dispatchers also need to quickly evaluate situations and decide which emergency personnel to send to a scene. They should also use their judgment to decide what information from the caller is most important to communicate to responding officers.
With an influx of calls during peak hours and holidays, a great dispatcher must know how to multitask between receiving a call, locating and dispatching the nearest emergency services. Knowing how to multitask is an essential skill that allows dispatchers to do their job effectively. 9-1-1 dispatchers work in highly demanding environments, and constantly have to be on high alert. But the work they do is invaluable! Dispatchers make a difference within their community and have a significant impact on those they help.
Dispatchers should be able to work and collaborate with a variety of professionals, such as law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and supervisors. They must work as a team to provide a fast and accurate emergency response. Dispatchers should develop supportive and professional relationships with their colleagues and team members so everyone can work effectively to resolve emergencies. They should also take instruction from supervisors, law enforcement and other dispatchers well.
7. Emotional Control
Dispatchers often take calls from very emotional individuals. To calm callers in need so they can gather the necessary information to give responders, dispatchers have to stay composed and control their own emotions. Emotional control is also important when dispatchers are giving pre-arrival instructions during medical emergencies or explaining potentially life-saving procedures. A dispatcher who stays calm is also more likely to communicate clearly and make good decisions.
How To Become An Emergency Dispatcher In Canada?
Paramedic Academy of BizTech college offers one of the best certificate courses in emergency telecommunications in Canada which is only 10 weeks long and offers an assured internship with the Central Communication Ambulance Centre. Moreover, the course comes with other highlights which are mentioned below:
- Certification from the International Academics of Emergency Dispatch
- Emphasis on Clinical and Psychological Aspects of the Job
- Training by active Paramedics and Dispatch Experts
- Hands-on Training on PROQA – Emergency Dispatch Technology
Looking forward to a career in Emergency Telecommunications in Canada? Contact our admissions desk now and be job-ready in 10 weeks with our certificate course in Emergency Telecommunications which is designed under the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) guidelines, this certificate will train students in advanced protocols for emergency call-taking.