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Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

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.

Skills

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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Knowledge

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
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Tasks

  • Answer routine inquiries, and refer calls not requiring dispatches to appropriate departments and agencies.
  • Determine response requirements and relative priorities of situations, and dispatch units in accordance with established procedures.
  • 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.
  • Learn material and pass required tests for certification.
  • Maintain files of information relating to emergency calls, such as personnel rosters, and emergency call-out and pager files.
  • Monitor various radio frequencies such as those used by public works departments, school security, and civil defense to keep apprised of developing situations.
  • Monitor alarm systems to detect emergencies, such as fires and illegal entry into establishments.
  • Maintain access to, and security of, highly sensitive materials.
  • Operate and maintain mobile dispatch vehicles and equipment.
  • Observe alarm registers and scan maps to determine whether a specific emergency is in the dispatch service area.
  • Provide emergency medical instructions to callers.
  • Question callers to determine their locations, and the nature of their problems to determine type of response needed.
  • Record details of calls, dispatches, and messages.
  • 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.
  • Read and effectively interpret small-scale maps and information from a computer screen to determine locations and provide directions.
  • Relay information and messages to and from emergency sites, to law enforcement agencies, and to all other individuals or groups requiring notification.
  • Scan status charts and computer screens, and contact emergency response field units to determine emergency units available for dispatch.
  • Test and adjust communication and alarm systems, and report malfunctions to maintenance units.
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Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
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Personality Traits

  • Achievement/Effort: Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility: Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking: Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Attention to Detail: Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Concern for Others: Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation: Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability: Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence: Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Initiative: Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation: Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Integrity: Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Leadership: Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence: Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control: Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation: Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance: Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
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Related Careers

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