Careers Law Enforcement Legal

911 Dispatcher

Career description:

A 911 Dispatcher is a telephone, radio or computer operator that connects people in need with fire, police and medical emergency services. They receive a variety of reports, ranging from car accidents to criminal acts in progress and coordinate the dispatch of the appropriate emergency responders. In addition to dispatching emergency services, 911 Dispatchers often remain in communication with callers, advising them and attempting to keep them calm as they await help.

What it’s like:

Common duties:

  • Handling multiple channels of communication simultaneously, such as radio, telephone or computer messaging
  • Prioritize multiple incoming calls without getting overwhelmed
  • Required to deal with people who are terrified or overwhelmed
  • Need to remain calm and walk the caller through the steps necessary to ensure their safety
  • Create, copy and file a variety of case records
  • May process legal violations, as well as records of stolen, lost or recovered property
  • Relay information to subordinates, co-workers, supervisors and the relevant emergency services
  • Remotely operate or monitor alarm systems pertaining to theft, armed robbery, intrusion, civil defense and the National Weather Service’s warning systems

Similar occupations:

911 Dispatcher, Communications Officer, Communications Operator, Communications Specialist, Dispatcher, Emergency Communications Operator (ECO), Police Dispatcher, Public Safety Dispatcher, Telecommunicator