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Public Safety Dispatcher

Gather information from 9/11 callers and direct emergency vehicles.

What does a Public Safety Dispatcher do?

In an emergency, callers dial 911 for help and you, the Public Safety Dispatcher, answer. When the phone rings, the Public Safety Dispatcher moves into action, determining what the problem is, what should be done about it, and who should be sent to help.

The Public Safety Dispatcher works a bit like a Reporter. You find out exactly what happened and where, and gather basic information about the caller. After you’ve determined the extent of the problem, you send in expert teams to investigate. If a caller reports a fire, for example, you dispatch fire crews, police teams, and an ambulance.

During the call, you stay calm, organized, and collected. You enter every bit of information into the computer, so it will be clear to the response teams what crisis they have on their hands and how they can help.

When you’re not answering these high-stress calls, there will be other duties to attend to. You may hand out traffic incident reports to motorists who request them, answer the non-emergency phone line and take minor complaints from callers, or assist Law Enforcement Officers in booking criminals into jail.

Your job may not always be exciting. After all, emergencies don’t happen every single moment of every day. But while you’re at work, you must be prepared to perform to the best of your ability at a moment’s notice. Dreamy people who are easily distracted may not thrive in this job, which can move from calm to fast with the single jingle of the phone.