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Emergency Medical Dispatcher

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Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, also called 9-1-1 operators or public safety telecommunicators, answer emergency and non-emergency calls. They take information from the caller and send the appropriate type and number of units.

Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers typically do the following:

  • Answer 9-1-1 telephone calls
  • Determine, from the caller, the type of emergency and its location
  • Decide the appropriate emergency response based on agency policies and procedures
  • Relay information to the appropriate emergency or non-emergency service agency or agencies
  • Coordinate sending emergency response personnel
  • Give over-the-phone medical help and other instructions before emergency personnel get to the scene
  • Monitor and track the status of police, fire, and ambulance units on assignment
  • Synchronize responses with other area communication centers
  • Keep detailed records about calls

Dispatchers answer calls for service when someone needs help from police, fire fighters, emergency services, or a combination of the three. They take both emergency and non-emergency calls.

Dispatchers must stay calm while collecting vital information from callers to determine the severity of a situation. They then give the appropriate first responder agencies information about the call.

Some dispatchers only take calls. Others only use radios to send appropriate personnel. Many dispatchers do both tasks.

Dispatchers keep detailed records about the calls that they take. They may use a computer system to log important facts, such as the name and location of the caller.

Career Outlook: 
Career Outlook data is specific to New Hampshire State.
Number of Jobs 2010: 
Number of Projected Jobs 2020: 
Jobs Percentage Change: 
Total Annual Openings: 
Growth Outlook: 
Less Favorable
June 2013 Entry Level Wage: 
June 2013 Mean Wage: 
June 2013 Experienced Wage: 
Salary Range: 
$40,000 - $60,000
Education Requirements: 

Education Levels:

This job requires a minimum of a GED or a High School Diploma and on-the-job training. Please consult your Case Manager for specific details about this opportunities.
License and Certification Requirements: 
Coding Certification Required: 
Coding License Required: 
Certification(s) Required: 
List of Required Certifications: 
Emergency Medical Dispatch
Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation
Certification Requirements: 
The Bureau of Emergency Communications provides the following required training to newly hired as telecommunicators: (1) A course in basic telecommunications leading to a certification in basic telecommunications; (2) A course preparing persons to give pre-hospitalization care at the scene of a sudden illness or injury; (3) A basic course in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation leading to a certification in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation; (4) A basic course in emergency medical dispatch leading to a certification in emergency medical dispatch; and (5) Any other training for all telecommunicators determined by the executive director of the bureau to be necessary for adequate performance as a telecommunicator.
Career Categories: 

Types of Work:

Workplace Environment: 
School or Institution
Types of Interaction: 
Integrated Team Member