Hi everyone, I'm going to be getting into the field of dispatch and it will be dispatching for all emergency services plus non emergency calls. Wondering if any of you have helpful hints to throw my way? I will be going through and reading all the posts pertaining to this issue, but I would love to hear from you all. Thank you

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I am a 911 dispatcher, EMT and firefighter in my county.

First and foremost stay calm and confident when take calls and dispatching out the Agency you are notifying. Its help assure the people needing help when getting your information. And will get all the right information to the agency and they can hear you better over the radio.

Ask questions.

Find out their name, verify a callback number location. what the problem is. how many injured people. are there any dangers to the personel you are going to send out, find out as much as you can but remember time is a factor

most importantly learn you protocols and keep up on training. I always run different scenarios in my head about calls and situations to keep my self as prepared as possible for given situations.
A lot will depend on the agency you're working for. Hopefully they have a good training program. Be careful who you listen to it's not always the person who's been there the longest. Use common sense just think what needs to be donefor this situation. Make sure every call has a completion, meaning I always turn a call over to an agency and make them make the call. For example 911 hang up, I will call number back if someone states they just mis dialed in error I will advise PD that call was taken and on call back person stated dialed in error. It's then there determination whether they check it out or not, you've done your job then. I work in NC now but I started in NY 911 dispatching. In NY this was the operating procedure for the center. In NC this is my way of operating without there being any protocol in the center I'm with now. Good luck and don't take things personally.
Scott what does your agency do about calls from track phones. We have had alot of problem with hang ups from track phone. Contact phone service agencys to see if it a customer phone and most have come up as track phone which are not on their system. We are a small agency so we have limited resources.
Wow you do dispatch and a firefighter? Good for you. Thanks for the advice. How much time can you spend on a call? I'm getting pretty excited about it. I'm really nervous though because I"ve never done anything like this before. I just hope I can get in somewhere. Thanks for the response too.
Oh I see what your saying. I guess I will learn all this when I train huh? I'm gonna try to prepare myself for the job by getting to know my area streets and numbers, learn the phonetic alphabet and things like that. Did you guys have to do ridealongs too? I guess the more I do the better my chances are of getting the job. Did you have to take any online courses before hiring? Thanks for responding to my question too.
Will you be working in a 9-1-1 center? Our county 911 has an enhanced computer system to help with addresses. The dispatchers also take AMAP training as well as several other classes. To be a 9-1-1 dispatcher you can not get emotional or frightened. It is a stressful job that you have to learn to handle. Some don't last long because they can't control their emotions or are not patient.
Yes Jenny I will be, if I get the job. Its a dispatch for all emergency and non emergency. I know I can contain the emotions while on the phone, but not sure how I will react to the officers yelling at me when I mess up. Whats AMAP training? Thank you for answering me too.
Hello Regina,
You might consider APCO Institute. They have some excellent $15.00 certificated subjects and some excellent on-line courses. Also, APCO is an excellent organization to join. The monthly magazine has a new CDE (Continuing Dispatch Education) section with each edition.
Henry D.
Justin there's nothing we can do about these and any other phone bought that have a 911 area code. These are the type that are bought and used only for emergencies. They can be a problem but don't take them lightly. I received a 911 call via a 911 cell number the girl on the line sounded as if she were kidding around. I tried everything I could to find out the problem but she was not very cooperative. I lost contact with her but thru phase 2 wireless I was able to pinpoint the area she was calling from(a cemetary). I called the local police advised of the call and sent them to the area to check. While we had pd going she called back and got my partner. Come to find out she was in the cemetary and had been knocked uncons and raped. The pd did find her in the area we sent them. I will never look at these type numbers the same again. My motto is "Take EVERY call as if it's your first". Regina APCO is one of the best agencies to join. I'm APCO certified and think that apco is the best telecommunications training available. Also the NAED the national academy of emergency dispatch can provide you with additional info espicially if the agency will be doing EMD emerg medical dispatch program. Don't worry about anyone yelling at you it's part of the job that's why I said don't take things personally. Hope I've helped.

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