1. #1
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    Question Dispatcher as a career? (help out a high school senior)

    Ok guys and gals, lately I have been thinking about what I am doing with my life a lot. The job of a dispatcher seems interesting. I am currently an active firefighter with two companies and love everything that goes along with public safety. So here are my questions...

    1. What education is generally required for a dispatching position?<br />2. Do YOU like your job? good things? bad things?

    <br />Thanks for any and all help<br />-Will
    There are three truths in life:

    1. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
    2. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
    3. Two Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store.

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    I was a dispather for a few years. It was great while it lasted, but I don't think I would have wanted to make a career out if it. but that's just me. We have one lady that I worked with who has been a dispatcher for over 20 years and she still enjoys it. So it really depends on what you want. If that's what you want to do with your life, great.

    As for education, I got my dispatching job right out of high school. I was going to college too though. It depends on the department. Some departments may want you to have more of an education background.

    I loved the job for the first few years. I then got stuck with a partner (there was two people in dispatch at this particular department) who was a jerk and made the job miserable, so it all depends. It depends on your outlook too. If you make the job fun, it can be fun. If you stress out over everything and worry too much, you can be miserable and keel over with a heart attack...it all depends on you.

    I'm now a medic on the road and currently going through the police academy. That's what I want to do with my life. But if you want to be a dispatcher, then by all means try it out. You can always change your mind and do something else.

  3. #3
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    Dispatching can be fun but I can not stress how important higher education is....go to college then decide...you will have many more oppurtunities...

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    I agree with 'apatrol', don't forego advancing your education. Otherwise, I've never seen any particular educational requirements for the job.

    I loved my time as a dispatcher (I did both phone and radio) it's another one of those jobs that you can go home at the end of your shift and forget about the job. My only warning is that I've seen (and trained) many people who go into the job and then found that it wasn't their piece of the pie. The job does have high stress levels and the term "multi-tasking" very much understates the actual job. Dispatching is a very tough, rewarding, challenging, exciting, tiring and fun job (sound familiar?). Is there any opportunity to work part-time to see if you like the pace? In any event, it will change your perception of the person on the other end of the radio.

    Have fun with your last year in High School.

    /Jeff

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    I've been a fire/ems/police dispatcher for 6 years now, I cant really complain too bad.. I'm part time college trying to find time to finish my degree in Fire Sciene..I wouldnt mind If I made a career out of it, Its Fun but, It has its bad days too, I guess just like every other job

    Dealing with stupid people who think 911 can fix everything for 1,is what I hate

    What I love is when I help save a life over the phone, Greatest feeling in the world when you talk someone through cpr through the phone and it works and the person is up and walking around because of you before ems or pd get there, cant top that..

    Good luck in High School

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    I am 19 almost 20 and in my 3rd semester of college. i am quitting school at the end of the semester to go after a 911 job at home. I don't want to post my whole life story up here and take up the space so if you want to talk more indepth you can IM me on aol instant messenger at EMTgonnab911 or send me an email. its bports@vt.edu<br />good luck<br />Ben Ports

  7. #7
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    *
    Last edited by Dispatcher1534; 07-19-2002 at 03:40 AM.

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    Thumbs up

    If I couldn't pursue my lifelong dream of fighting fire or law enforcement I would be a career dispatcher. I have worked in the 911 Center for over 2 years now. It is a great job. I love it and for the most part I love all the people I work with. I could lose some of them though and not miss them! <img src="wink.gif" border="0"> At first when I would page a call to my station I would cringe and bang my head on the desk relentlessly. It doesn't happen anymore. Multi-tasking is really an understatement! Some people just can't do it. Go sit in your dispatch for a shift or so and see how you feel about it. I trained about 3 shifts and then was on my own. We have two people now that are still training and have been here a while (couple months to a year) and I don't think they are going to make it. One person doesn't have a clue to what they are doing or what role they are playing. It is almost like a game to them. Don't take this job as a game, it is life and death. When you leave that Center, leave your work thier with you. No need to drag it home. <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

    Stay safe,

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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    I think that helpiung out a senior in high school and putting then throught EMD is a GREAT IDEA we have two here bothout of hight school and both of then are also going to the local college to get their basic emt cert to further their carrer
    UNIT 5 1/2

  10. #10
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    Speaking only for my own jurisdiction, Our Fire Dept runs the 911 system for the whole area, about 300,000 ppl. Up until about 5 years ago we firefighters, with no training I might add ran the system, then they hired civilians. It is a very stressful occupation, I can tell you that. If a mistake is made all sides imediatly try to blame it on the dispatchers, especially when dealing with multi-jurisdictional issues. Personally I did not mind it, when I was only in there for perhaps 4 hours out of a 24 hour shift, but it has to be both physically and mentally tiring on the full time dispatchers. there is a very high turnover rate. Thankfully as we are in the same union, some of the more adventurous souls are able to roll over into the fire dept when positions become available. This may seem like a rant, but let me assure you, I have several close friends among the dispatchers and IMHO they get the dirty end of the stick every time. Did a mention their salary is only 60% of a firefighters. Anyway, thats the situation here, as I said it may be different elsewhere.

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    I make $70,000 per yr + & don't get shot at. You figure it out.

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    $70,000 a year??????????? Where do you dispatch at? You're lucky if you make $30 to $35,000 here.

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    WILLB;<br />Since you and I are from the same area, if you want to visit a dispatch center send me an e-mail and I will arrange for a visit to Chester County (PA) for an entire shift if you'd like. I know that we (Chester County) pay a "little" better than Berks. If its a matter of principle to you we are not a union shop. E-mail me and I will arrange a visit for you. If you can't get a hold of me for some reason. Try FF Hostetler from Company 9 and I'm sure he'll do the same.

    Stay Safe
    Joe Badman

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    <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">

    All you have to do Will is ask !!

  15. #15
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    A good education for a start, knowledge of the job you'll be doing (Fire have some fire background, ems have some emt training, police law or police training). Have a good knowledge of the area you are dispatching people to is a very big help.
    Barry Laise<br />EMT/Fiefighter<br />Little Creek VFC Sta 54<br />Little Creek, DE

  16. #16
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    I forgot about this thread <img src="smile.gif" border="0">

    Assistant7 - you know me, remember the fat kid with jon buchanan working on the office computers (tones mysteriously appearing on computer? <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> )

    Rescue9 - look, you got mentioned in someone elses post <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> I'll talk to ya after your trip
    There are three truths in life:

    1. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
    2. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
    3. Two Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store.

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    Will,<br />I remember now, get a hold of me thru Jon, and your more than welcome to visit the basement
    Joe Badman

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    I'm debating joining this thread...

    ~jon

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    Default

    scary....
    There are three truths in life:

    1. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
    2. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
    3. Two Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store.

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