The emergency dispatcher, also known as emergency telecommunicator or 911 dispatcher, is the public safety system’s lifeline. Being an emergency dispatcher can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. However, the job comes with a lot of responsibility and many exciting challenges.
Emergency dispatchers typically have an interest in working with the tools, fixing practical things, helping people and enjoy working with the information and processes to keep things in order.
Qualities a Good Emergency Dispatcher Should Possess
Ability to Multitask
Responding to emergency calls can be stressful, and the ability to multitask is crucial. The emergency dispatcher needs to balance taking calls, take vital information, coordinate responders, assist callers while waiting for emergency personnel.
Using your training, you will need to prioritize and multitask effectively to ensure that everything runs smoothly and callers have adequate help.
Ability to Communicate – Clear, Compassionate & Confidence
The emergency dispatcher is the first contact point for people in dire situations and is responsible for a quick resolution. Working with law enforcement, emergency response teams and civilians, emergency dispatcher becomes one point contact for correct information that may help save lives.
As an emergency dispatcher, you need to communicate with clarity, compassion, and confidence while talking to people in the most disturbing situations. If you are a people person with a trait of assertiveness, this may very well be a suitable career.
Ability to Stay Calm in Stressful Situations
As an emergency dispatcher, you will be dealing with life-threatening situations day in and day out. The ability to stay in control and stay calm in such scenarios is necessary for this profession’s success.
Staying calm on this job will help you make critical decisions for successful operations and maintain a high service level. If you’re good at managing stress, there’s a good chance you could make an excellent dispatcher.
Attention to Detail
Dispatching is a very detailed-oriented job, and one must pay attention to the smallest of details. The dispatcher is in charge of guiding public safety personnel to the people in need. If you are good at identifying details and have a strong sense of responsibility, you may be able to succeed as an emergency dispatcher.
Easy to Adopt Technology
Emergency dispatchers usually work with specialized software, and in this profession, you might even be working with satellite-based systems. Even if you feel intimidated working with technology, it doesn’t mean you can’t become a dispatcher.
Software training during your certification for the emergency telecommunicator program will teach you everything you need to know. All you need is a willingness to learn.
The emergency dispatcher works in a high-stress environment and must choose wisely between tasks. The ability to quickly determine appropriate action when people call for help will help you succeed in this profession.
Apart from the qualities mentioned above, this job comes with specific physical demands such as:
- Most dispatchers work in 8–12-hour shift, and overtime is expected in this occupation. Thus, it is crucial you can sit for long durations.
- Ability to concentrate in a work environment with a moderate noise level
Do you think you have what it takes to become an emergency dispatcher?