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Career Advice on How to Become A Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatcher

General Career Information

You might know the police, fire and ambulance dispatcher by another name, the 911 operator.  The police, fire and ambulance dispatcher is the person that you call when your cat Mr. Fluffy Pants gets “stuck” in a tree.  You will then hear that your cat being stuck in a tree is not a real emergency, and you will be given a different phone number.  Likewise, calling the police, fire and ambulance dispatcher to let them know that your neighbor is not cutting his grass with enough regularity will likewise garner a similar response. 

No doubt a great many of the calls fielded by police, fire and ambulance dispatchers are calls that should have not been placed, or even worse, drunk dialers.  Yet, this is not to state that a career as a police, fire and ambulance dispatcher is an easy one.  In fact it can be very stressful.  Keep this stress in mind when you are considering different careers in your career planning or job search.

 

Career Facts:

The overwhelming majority of people only dial 911 when something truly horrible has happened or there is a real emergency.  Dialing 911 is really the same thing as saying, “There is a serious problem. I, or someone I know, needs help and they need it soon.”  On the other end of the phone call is the police, fire and ambulance dispatcher or 911 operator.  Part of the reason that their job is a highly stressful one is that they will hear extremely stressed out people often begging for help during an emergency.  Further, if they make a mistake and somehow guide emergency personnel to the wrong location, people can die or at least their suffering may be prolonged.  In short, a career working as a police, fire and ambulance dispatcher can be quite stressful.

 

Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

The job growth rate for police, fire and ambulance dispatchers should be roughly average between 2008 and 2018.
 
Job Outlook is Fair
 

A Day in The Life:

Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers will spend a good part of their day fielding calls from people that are in highly stressful situations.  This means that they must exercise a level of detachment in order to stay calm and effectively help those who are calling.  Much of their work will center on answering the call line and directing emergency personnel to the location where help is needed.
 

Average Salary:

Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers will spend a good part of their day fielding calls from people that are in highly stressful situations.  This means that they must exercise a level of detachment in order to stay calm and effectively help those who are calling.  Much of their work will center on answering the call line and directing emergency personnel to the location where help is needed.

$34k

 

Career Training and Qualifications:

Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers are expected to have high-school degrees and must receive substantial on the job training. 
 
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