Employment Opportunity - Police and Fire Dispatcher

Application for Employment




       JOB TITLE:     Police and Fire Dispatcher                    

DEPARTMENT:      Police Department

FLSA STATUS:      Competitive



          Direct supervision is received from the Police Chief, Lieutenant, Officer in Charge, and Lead Police Dispatcher.



          Performs any task as assigned by the Police Chief or his designee, police officers, Assistant City Manager or City Manager.



          Under the direct supervision of a Police Officer or the Senior Police Dispatcher, dispatchers of this Police Department are responsible for the operation of a two-way communications system in a municipal Police and Fire Department to monitor, receive, relay, and record alarms, intradepartmental calls, emergency calls, signals and other messages and to dispatch the appropriate emergency personnel and equipment to incidents and emergencies.  This position requires a high degree of accuracy and alertness in dispatching police vehicles in accordance with prescribed routine, and the dispatcher must maintain a calm demeanor and composure in responding to crisis situations.  Incumbents must also exercise sound judgment in prioritizing calls and dispatching police to situations, which may involve danger to life and/or damage to property, as quickly as possible.  A Police and Fire Dispatcher may be required to wear a prescribed uniform (not a police or fire uniform), but does not perform general police duties.  This work requires the ability to readily learn how to operate the specific police communication system and the ability to maintain accurate records of average complexity; particularly of all calls placed and received.  A Police and Fire Dispatcher will be required to work shifts which cover both day and night hours.   Supervision is not usually a responsibility of this position, does related work as required.  A Police and Fire Dispatcher must maintain confidentiality of all information within the Department.



  • Monitors, receives, relays, and records police alarms, intra-departmental calls, emergency calls, signals and other messages coming in over the police communication system;
  • Operates a two-way communications system to contact the emergency service unit covering the area; operates a computerized information system; i.e., SCOPE (CLEAN) and J-NET to access and record data and information; answers, screens, and processes incoming emergency and non-emergency calls from the general public; refers non-emergency requests to the appropriate resource for assistance; queries callers in a calm, systematic manner to determine the nature of the situation, their precise location, the type of assistance and services needed, and any other information necessary to evaluate the situation.  When answering an emergency call or handling radio communications, a dispatcher must listen carefully as some callers might have trouble speaking due to anxiety or stress;
  • People who call 9-1-1 are often in distress.  Dispatchers must be willing and able to help callers with a wide range of needs.  They must be calm, polite, and sympathetic, while also quickly getting information;
  • Maintains continuous status and location records of all police vehicles; Receives complaints from the public concerning crimes, accidents, and other police and fire emergencies and non-emergencies; Prepares and maintains a variety of logs, records, records, and reports of all incoming and outgoing communications; May perform clerical work of average difficulty related to their dispatching function including filing and typing; Uses computer applications such as spreadsheets, word processing, calendar, e-mail and database software in performing work assignments;
  • May be required to search same gender prisoners.



            High School graduate.  Good knowledge of the methods and practices of operating radio and telephone equipment; good knowledge of the practices and procedures of using a two-way communications system; good knowledge of the geography of the policing jurisdiction; working knowledge of Federal Communication Commission Rules and Regulations pertaining to transmitting and receiving messages by short-wave radio; working knowledge of modern police procedures and terminology; ability to perform calmly and efficiently in emergency situations; ability to clearly and concisely communicate during emergency situations;  ability to deal effectively with the public in stressful situations; ability to remain calm while eliciting information from persons who may be in a highly emotional state; ability to make quick and accurate decisions under pressure; ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously; ability to learn how to operate police station equipment including communications equipment and automated data retrieval equipment; ability to follow oral and written instructions; ability to write legibly; ability to maintain records and prepare reports; ability to effectively use computer applications such as spreadsheets, word processing, calendar, e-mail and database software; ability to read, write, speak, understand, and communicate in English sufficiently to perform the essential duties of the position; clear diction; clerical aptitude; mental alertness; good judgment in emergencies; tact; courtesy; reliability; accuracy; emotional stability; physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.  Must possess valid Pennsylvania driver’s license.



  • Answer emergency and non-emergency telephone calls;
  • Determine the type of emergency and its location;
  • Decide the appropriate response based on agency procedures;
  • Relay information to the appropriate first responder agency;
  • Coordinate the dispatch of emergency response personnel to accident scenes;
  • Monitor and track the status of police, fire, and ambulance units;
  • Synchronize responses with other area communication centers;
  • Keep detailed records about calls;
  • Keep calm and have empathy during stressful incidents for extended period of time;
  • Problem solving skills to complete a variety of jobs;
  • Communication skills, including the ability to speak and write English clearly to communicate priorities and information between employees and citizens;
  • Math skills, including but not limited to, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division accurately;
  • Stay calm while collecting vital information from callers to determine the severity of a situation and the location of those who need help;  Give the appropriate first-responder agencies information about the call;
  • Keep detailed records about the calls taken; Use computers to log important facts, such as the nature of the incident and the name and location of the caller;
  • Use crime databases, maps and weather reports when helping emergency response teams; Monitor alarm systems, alerting law enforcement or fire personnel when a crime or fire occurs; Work with people in other jurisdictions to share information and transfer calls;
  • Instruct callers on what to do before responders arrive;
  • Must be able to traverse 30 steps at a time;
  • Must be able to lift objects weighing at least 20 pounds;
  • Must have 20/20 vision with or without corrective lenses;
  • Ability to sit or stand for extended periods of time.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function satisfactorily.  The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.