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Emergency Communications Dispatcher Job Description

This classification incorporates three separate, distinct disciplines under one job title. This class performs dispatch responsibility for Escambia County Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS that covers over a 600 square mile area. This position provides emergency dispatch services to 21 individual fire jurisdictions and up to 15 ambulance units located throughout the county and mutual aid areas.  This class also performs tasks as a Primary 911 Call Taker and is responsible for answering and computer processing of all 911 calls that originate within Escambia County. Additionally, the position provides assistance to Emergency Management by functioning as the 24 hour County Warning Point during times of disaster or escalating events, whether natural or man-made.

Examples of Duties:

  • Fire Dispatch:  Radio Dispatches appropriate ECFR apparatus to various types of fires. To include; residential fires, commercial fire related events, wild land fires, and serious medical calls while maintaining continuous contact with responding units. Fire Dispatch duties also include: updating responders with up to date scene changing information, announcing hydrant locations, tracking unit status changes in Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), initiating SOPs for escalating events, and notifying ECFR Staff during times of major incidents, and monitoring 50 County building fire alarm accounts.
  • EMS Dispatch: Radio Dispatches appropriate EMS units to various medical emergencies.  EMS Dispatch duties include: maintaining constant radio contact with responders, while providing them with up to date patient and scene information; selecting the closest or most appropriate unit to emergency call locations, track unit status changes and update patient information in CAD, monitoring call location projections via the Dispatch “hotspot” computer to ensure projected call areas are covered with available units; coordinate mutual aid requests, such as requests to launch Life Flight; initiate responder requests to notify hospitals of critical patient information, such as traumatic injuries, cardiac arrest, gunshot/stabbing victims, and burn patients.
  • Emergency Call Taker: Answers, verifies location and call back number, and determines the nature of each emergency call. Transfers all crime related calls to the appropriate law enforcement agency. 
  • Medical calls: process calls following nationally recognized protocols, assigns the nature code and the correct priority to each call based on caller’s response to scripted questions, enter all responses in CAD and update patient condition as situation warrants. Provide Pre-arrival Instructions; instruct callers through CPR, Child Birth, and Heimlich. Provide Post Dispatch Instructions; bleeding control measures, airway maintenance, and scene safety instructions.  Coordinate trauma calls, cardiac arrest, gunshot/stabbing victims and burn patient information with area hospitals.
  • Fire calls: process calls following nationally recognized protocols, assigns the nature code and the correct priority to each call based on caller’s response to scripted questions, enter responses in CAD.  Provide callers with scene safety instructions.  Coordinate incidents with State Fire Marshal’s Office and State Watch Office as appropriate. Notify ECFR Staff personnel of escalating events.
  • Non-Emergency calls: Process non-emergency transfer requests, which includes: comparing and verifying patient’s condition against emergency criteria to ensure requests is to be processed as a non-emergency; process administrative request as warranted. 

This position coordinates road closures, flooding conditions, and disaster incidents with Emergency Management and State Officials as appropriate.

Position performs a variety of administrative tasks in support of emergency communication operations, to include: monitoring equipment status; entering a variety of data into applicable dispatch system, and sending FAX transmissions.

Typical Qualifications:

Training and Experience (positions in this class typically require):

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent (G.E.D.) and up to one year of experience as an emergency dispatcher, EMT, paramedic, firefighter, police officer or Air Traffic Controller; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed above.
  • Demonstrate ability to keyboard (type) at prescribed rate of speed.
  • License and Certification Requirements: State of Florida Department of Health (DOH) Telecommunicator License , National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch Certification, National Academy of Emergency Fire Dispatch Certification, American Heart Association CPR Health Provider, and National Incident Management System IS 100 and IS 700.
    • *(DOH license must be obtained within 6 months of hire. All other certification requirements must be completed within 9 months of hire)

Knowledge Required:

  • Escambia County Geography and Customer Service principles

Skills Required:

  • Computer entry and common software applications
  • Operating multi-channel radios
  • Remaining calm in stressful and emotional situations
  • Map Reading
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Interpersonal communications applied to coworkers, supervisors, and the general public
  • Clear and concise speech

ADA Requirements:

  • Physical Requirements: Positions in this class typically require: reaching, standing, walking, fingering, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing and repetitive motions.
  • Light Work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.  If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for Light Work.
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