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How Do I Become a Fire Dispatcher?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Those with hopes of becoming a fire dispatcher should review the job responsibilities before applying for a position. Gaining the necessary level of education to become a fire dispatcher is part of the process to meet common candidate requirements. Possessing specific personality traits and completing on-the-job training are among the other requirements for those looking to become a fire dispatcher.

Training to become a fire dispatcher provides candidates with the education and experience necessary to fulfill the job duties related to the position. Fire dispatchers take incoming calls from citizens experiencing emergencies related to fires, explosions, and other dangerous situations. They utilize computer systems to enter essential data for reporting purposes and dispatch fire, police, and paramedic crews to the scene.

The education necessary to become a fire dispatcher traditionally consists of a high school diploma or its equivalent. Additional education beyond high school is preferred in some employment positions and can help differentiate a candidate from the rest of the applicants in a tough job market. Coursework in communications and computer systems can be beneficial. Knowledge of basic life rescue skills, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic first aid can also be helpful when looking for a position as a fire dispatcher.

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Possessing the necessary personality traits to fulfill the duties of the position is possibly the most important qualification for candidates hoping to become a fire dispatcher. The ability to remain calm under pressure is a must because you will be helping citizens handle emergencies and stressful situations. Other personality traits a fire dispatcher must possess include a friendly demeanor and calm tone of voice when speaking on the phone.

Completion of any on-the-job training is also necessary to become a fire dispatcher. This training will include specific training focused on computer software comprehension. Additional skills, such as how to handle emergency calls and how to use radio and intercom units to communicate with appropriate emergency personnel, will also be taught during on-the-job training.

Beyond the traditional qualifications for a fire dispatcher, a person must also be able to meet the other requirements of the job. Dispatchers sit for prolonged periods of time and must remain available for incoming calls during all scheduled intervals. The ability to multi-task is also essential. Fire dispatchers must be able to hold a conversation with a caller and extract all necessary information, such as address and type of emergency, while simultaneously entering the information into the computer and dispatching the appropriate emergency personnel.

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