In a typical work setting, dispatchers:
- Have a high level of social contact. Dispatchers spend all of their time talking to customers, coworkers, and emergency personnel.
- Are responsible for the health and safety of others. This is especially true when they give emergency care instructions over the telephone.
- Are responsible for the outcomes of others.
- Are often placed in conflict situations. Emergency dispatchers are exposed to conflict situations daily.
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- Talk with people daily who are unpleasant, angry, or discourteous. This is especially true for police and fire dispatchers.
- Always use the telephone.
- Write letters, memos, and e-mails weekly.
- Communicate with coworkers daily in person.
- Work as part of a response team.
Physical Work Conditions
- Work indoors.
- Work near other people, but have a few feet of space separating self from others.
- Are often exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting and uncomfortable.
- Sometimes are exposed to contaminants.
- Must fully complete and be exact in their work. Errors could keep emergency equipment from arriving quickly.
- Repeat the same physical activities.
- Meet strict daily and weekly deadlines.
- Make decisions daily that strongly impact callers.
- Generally work 40 hours per week.
- May work evenings, weekends, and holidays, if working as an emergency vehicle dispatcher.