If you’ve ever found yourself dialing 911, you need a few things from the person on the other end of the call. You want calm; you want reassurance; you want quick, thoughtful questions and instructions. If you’re the kind of person who keeps a cool head under intense pressure and has a knack for calming other people’s emotions, an emergency dispatch job could be a great fit.
Emergency dispatchers are contributors and thrill seekers who respond to emergency calls, dispatch the right response team (be it police, fire or ambulance), and ask pertinent questions to keep the caller safe and informed. They must be excellent communicators, logical problem-solvers, and decisive. They must also be calm in high-pressure situations, observant, and able to prioritize. Their other responsibilities include identifying appropriate call responses, passing on messages to emergency services, maintaining call logs, and monitoring a variety of equipment and computer systems.
Emergency dispatchers work in emergency communication centers called public safety answering points (PSAPs), and must be available around the clock. Working overtime, evenings, weekends, holidays, and long 12-hour shifts are common. They are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, along with emergency training or certification. Job growth is projected at 6% for the decade ending in 2028.