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Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
Quick Facts : Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers*
2010 Median Pay$35,370
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012100,100
Job Outlook12% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change11,700


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

What Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers Do

  • 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
  • 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

Work Environment

Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers work in an emergency communication center, often called a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
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Job Outlook

Employment of police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020 due to a larger and older population likely to create more emergency calls; and, therefore, a need for more dispatchers.
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Pay

In May 2010, the average salary of police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers was $35,370.
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Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

35370

Legal & Law Enforcement Occupations

51034.1667

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers*
Percent Change in Employment

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

11.6883

Legal & Law Enforcement Occupations

10.89271409312884

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Most police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers have a high school diploma or GED. Additional requirements vary. Many states require dispatchers to become certified.
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