Emergency Dispatcher Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | July 15, 2023
Emergency Dispatcher Job Description
Emergency dispatchers receive calls from the public and direct callers to the appropriate emergency services.

This post provides detailed information on the emergency dispatcher job description, to boost your knowledge of what they do.

It highlights the key tasks, duties, and responsibilities that usually make up the emergency dispatcher work description.

This article also highlights the major requirements you may be asked to fulfill if you are applying for the emergency dispatcher role, as well as the expected salary for the position.

Please, read on:

What Does an Emergency Dispatcher Do?

The emergency dispatcher job description entails receiving emergency calls from the public.

This includes answering questions about an emergency situation, directing callers to the appropriate emergency services, and relaying messages between callers and dispatchers.

Emergency dispatchers ensure that all incoming calls are answered in a timely manner.

If there is no answer after several attempts, the caller should be transferred to another department or service provider.

As a dispatcher you receive requests for non-emergency services such as police reports, missing persons, stolen property, and other general inquiries.

These types of calls are referred to as non-urgent.

One of the jobs of the dispatcher is to handle routine communications to fire departments, hospitals, schools, and businesses.

These types of calls can be considered urgent but not life threatening.

They make sure that emergency personnel have access to needed resources and equipment.

For example, if a fire alarm rings at a school, the dispatcher must ensure that the building’s fire extinguishers are available and accessible to firefighters.

They also provide assistance to first responders by relaying important information during emergencies.

For example, the dispatcher might relay instructions to firefighters who need to enter a burning structure.

They may also assist law enforcement officers in locating criminals or victims.

Furthermore, the dispatcher has a duty to direct traffic around accidents, fires, and other dangerous situations.

As a dispatcher you may help coordinate rescue efforts during disasters.

Sometimes, it is part of the dispatcher job to communicate with the media.

In some cases, the dispatcher may be required to respond to multiple calls simultaneously.

More on Emergency Dispatcher Job Description

The emergency dispatcher job description also includes ensuring that the correct type of response is dispatched to any given incident.

If someone dials 911 because they think their house has been burglarized, the dispatcher would dispatch a police officer rather than a firefighter.

The emergency dispatcher’s role also involves entering data into a computer system.

This data includes information about the location of the incident, the nature of the problem (e.g., medical, fire, police), and the status of the incident.

When a dispatcher receives a message, he or she determines whether the message needs immediate attention.

If so, the dispatcher provides the necessary instructions to the person calling.

Most dispatcher duties involve communicating with people. This means that they will spend most of their time speaking on the phone.

They receive coded and conventional messages from callers and then translate these messages into words.

Some dispatchers use computers to input data and manage call logs.

Many dispatchers assist in training new employees.

In addition, the emergency dispatcher is responsible for making sure that all appropriate responses are sent to an incident.

They may sometimes act as a liaison between different agencies.

Emergency Dispatcher Job Description Sample/Example/Template

The emergency dispatcher job description entails the following tasks, duties, and responsibilities:

  • Receives calls from people in need of help or assistance
  • Translates the message into a format understandable to other dispatchers
  • Gathers information about the caller’s situation
  • Keeps track of all incoming messages and reports them to the proper authorities
  • Responds to requests for police, fire, ambulance, etc.
  • Answers questions from callers
  • Maintains records of all incoming calls
  • Handles emergencies such as accidents, fires, medical emergencies, etc.
  • Manages and coordinates activities of various agencies involved in emergency response
  • Ensures that communication is maintained between different emergency services.
  • Maintains logs of all incoming calls
  • Provides accurate information to the public regarding the location of emergency services
  • Provides information to the public regarding evacuation procedures
  • Assists the public during disasters
  • Coordinates with other departments when needed
  • Responds to non-emergency situations involving the public
  • Provides guidance to the public regarding emergency preparedness
  • Offers training to personnel within the department
  • Participates in developing new company policies and procedures
  • Keeps abreast of changes in technology
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Emergency Dispatcher Job Description for Resume

If you are working as an emergency dispatcher or have worked in that role before and are writing a resume for a new job, you can make your resume more impactful by sharing your work experience.

You can apply the sample emergency dispatcher job description shown above in making the Professional Experience section of your resume.

This will show that you have been successful performing the emergency dispatcher role, which can significantly help to win you an interview with the employer/recruiter, especially if the new job that you are seeking requires some emergency dispatcher work experience.

Emergency Dispatcher Requirements: Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success

The following are some of the requirements you might be asked to meet to be hired for the emergency dispatcher job:

  • Must be able to read, write, speak, listen and understand English
  • Ability to communicate effectively with the general public and respond to their needs
  • Must be able to multi-task and prioritize workload
  • Possess good organizational skills
  • Ability to travel frequently and at any time deem necessary by management
  • Must be able/willing and qualified to drive a motor vehicle
  • Possess physical fitness and willingness to lift up to 50 lbs. of items regularly in performing job functions
  • Ability to stand for most of the working hours in carrying out job assignments
  • Must be able to work safely in an environment with  hazardous materials
  • Strong ability to understand given instructions and carry them out correctly.

Emergency Dispatcher Salary

According to Salary.com, the starting income for an emergency dispatcher ranges from $36,238 to $46,509 per year, with an average starting salary of $42,725.


This post is useful to individuals interested in the emergency dispatcher career.

They will be able to learn all they need to know about what emergency dispatcher do from the content of this page.

It is also helpful to recruiters/employers who are looking to hire the best people for the vacant emergency dispatcher positions in their organizations.

They can create a detailed description of the emergency dispatcher role that they want to fill by applying the job description example provided above.