Question on Dispatcher Job

Question on Dispatcher Job

This is a discussion on Question on Dispatcher Job within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So me and my fiance are getting married in a couple weeks and are looking to buy a home in a few months. I have ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array BamaSteve's Avatar
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    Question on Dispatcher Job

    So me and my fiance are getting married in a couple weeks and are looking to buy a home in a few months. I have a job that begins in September, but she only has a job as a daycare worker about an hour away from where we will be moving to. She is beginning to look for some sort of other job, and I suggested looking into a dispatcher position. She thought that would be really interesting and between a decent salary and benefits it would be great for us. My question for you guys is if anybody has any information or advice as to applying and the job itself?

    I think she is going to call some county sheriffs and local police departments to see about employment and applying. I think she will also look into the fire departments as well.

    Any advice or insight is much appreciated as always!!!
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    I would check the county gov. or sheriff's dept. website. Most government jobs have to be posted in a public forum.... She can possibly apply online....

    It would probably involve rotating shift work, but benefits are good...

    Good Luck.
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    My question for you guys is if anybody has any information or advice as to applying and the job itself?
    Yep, check the regional government websites for the requirements. Since these are generally government jobs the requirements are not usually flexible. Typing skills are good. Multi-tasking abilities are essential; most centers search for people who can be doing one task and be fully aware of what everyone else in the room is doing. When applying, focus on previous jobs or skills that display computer skills, interaction with people (especially during crisis), and multitasking abilities.
    eschew obfuscation

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    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    This may not come out the way it is intended if so I apoligize no harm intnded. If she is serious she may want to see an audiologist (hearing specialist). Many dispatch centers want to make sure the applicant can hear those on the phone as well as the units on the radio. She will have to maintain her own sanity when everyone outside the center may be losing theirs. She will hear things on the phone that most folks could never stomach. There will be those who tease dispatchers for not being on the street but when all is said and done those same officers on the street value those dispatchers more than they will say. The dispatcher is the street officer's lifeline. They are the public's lifeline. They are an important part of the system.

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Can she listen, comprehend, type, and speak simultaneously? She's a good candidate if so.
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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Just be aware that being a dispatcher can be even more stressful, hectic and frantic than being a field officer. Combine this with long hours, working different shifts, holidays, weekends, etc. When I was an LEO I saw more dispatchers quit/fired than officers. The divorce rate is about double the average.
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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    One of my hunnee's best friends is a dispatcher for a department in North Carolina... we haven't really talked about it in depth, but I do know it is a stressful gig with little room for error... dealing with people that are emotionally unhinged 8 hours a day can be tough...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    It is not the job for everyone. I did it for fifteen years and have considered going back to it, but not sure if I want to.
    Good pay? Depends what agency. Some departments start dispatchers at less than you start working the opening shift at McDonald's.
    Good beneifts? Again depends on the agency. You can have everything from full medical and a pension down to a week of "Paid time off" per year. That PTO is both your sick leave and annual leave.

    Is she ready to listen to people killing themselves?
    Is she ready to miss birthdays, holidays, weddings, and funerals?
    Is she ready to not have a weekend night off for the next five years?
    Does she understand that when bad weather (hurricane, tornado, blizzard etc) hits she may well go in to work on Sunday and not get home until Thursday?
    Is she ready to have her every action documented in one electronic form or another? I am talking about every word she says, every computer message she types, every e-mail she sends or receives on agency equipment. I am talking about supervisors being able to pull her log on records and see how many times she left to go to the bathroom, and how long she was gone.
    Does she understand "Mandatory overtime is a valuable management tool?"
    Does she understand the psychological impact of sending an officer to their death?
    Does she understand that if an officer is injured or killed on an incident where she was the call taker that she will be put under a microscope?
    Does she understand that if she deviates from S.O.P. her agency may not choose to represent her if/when she is sued?

    Lots of stuff to think about.
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    Senior Member Array BamaSteve's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all the input! We were just looking into it, and I believe you guys have brought up a lot of things that I hadn't thought of yet. I'll let her read through this and see what she thinks, but I have a feeling we'll be looking elsewhere.

    Perhaps fire dispatch might be a slightly better choice if she still wants to do dispatch, just not police. I dunno...I'll let her read all this though!
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  10. #10
    Member Array edthefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    It is not the job for everyone. I did it for fifteen years and have considered going back to it, but not sure if I want to.
    Good pay? Depends what agency. Some departments start dispatchers at less than you start working the opening shift at McDonald's.
    Good beneifts? Again depends on the agency. You can have everything from full medical and a pension down to a week of "Paid time off" per year. That PTO is both your sick leave and annual leave.

    Is she ready to listen to people killing themselves?
    Is she ready to miss birthdays, holidays, weddings, and funerals?
    Is she ready to not have a weekend night off for the next five years?
    Does she understand that when bad weather (hurricane, tornado, blizzard etc) hits she may well go in to work on Sunday and not get home until Thursday?
    Is she ready to have her every action documented in one electronic form or another? I am talking about every word she says, every computer message she types, every e-mail she sends or receives on agency equipment. I am talking about supervisors being able to pull her log on records and see how many times she left to go to the bathroom, and how long she was gone.
    Does she understand "Mandatory overtime is a valuable management tool?"
    Does she understand the psychological impact of sending an officer to their death?
    Does she understand that if an officer is injured or killed on an incident where she was the call taker that she will be put under a microscope?
    Does she understand that if she deviates from S.O.P. her agency may not choose to represent her if/when she is sued?

    Lots of stuff to think about.
    +1 on all of the above! If your Mrs. is interested, make sure she reads these posts!

    It was the best of times... It was the worst of times... LOL

    I dispatched at a PD in a town with a population of about 8000 which was also the county seat. I was part time but worked full time hours for about 3 years. I dispatched for the city's 911, fire, and police which was a 20 man department back then (about 11 years ago.) I had to work long (sometimes 16 hour) shifts. Sometimes I would only get to leave for 8 hours then have to be back to work. If I worked the evening(4-12) or Hoot(12-8) shifts I worked alone. I wasn't supposed to leave the radio or phones even to go to the bathroom unless an officer came in. The pay totally sucked for what you had to be able to do ($6/hr) but, I wanted to be a police officer at the time and was willing to learn all I could about every aspect. I learned more about people in general and life as a dispatcher more than at any other job. I helped save lives and I helped put bad people in jail. I still miss it sometimes.

    Above all things, she must be able to multi-task. Women are better at it than men and IMHO are much better suited at dispatching than men. She should to be level headed and be able to handle stressful situations. Learn not to take things personal because everyone she deals with has a problem. She WILL see/hear/witness some really disturbing things and may have to go to court and give an account.
    Aim Small - Miss Small

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    And she will have an easier time of it if she is not bothered by a hysterical potty mouthed loon, and can deal with outragous claims by hate filled bigots, trash of all ethnic groups, and schizoids.

    I understand the schizoids can be really believable at times, she has to be able to tell and not get worked up.

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