What Does a 911 Dispatcher Do?

911 dispatcher sitting at computer

911 dispatchers play an important role as part of the emergency response team. These professionals are usually the first to respond to emergency calls that are made by those who are involved in accidents. Moreover, besides being the first to respond to emergency calls, they also play a major role in dispatching the appropriate officers to the scene of the incident. However, this is not an easy task, and one is required to have a certain set of skills and training to carry out the duty of a 911 dispatcher.

Duties Performed By A 911 Dispatcher

911 dispatchers must possess written, and excellent oral communication skills to carry out their task. That is because they not only respond to emergency calls but also to non-emergency calls for information and support. Furthermore, these professionals are also responsible for providing communication support services and dispatch information to police, fire department and other related services. A 911 dispatcher also does the following

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1. Gather Relevant Information

The first thing a 911 dispatcher does is to gather relevant information of where the incident has taken place. This makes it easy for the 911 dispatcher to give a specific location of where the incident is to the officers on the ground. Besides acquiring information of where the caller is calling from, the 911 dispatcher also determines the nature of the call and the urgency as well.

2. Assign Priorities To Specific Emergencies

Besides responding to emergency calls and gathering relevant information, 911 dispatchers also play the role of assigning priorities to officers who are on the ground. Moreover, you also need to understand that emergencies are not classified the same. Some emergencies may require medical assistance while others may demand law enforcement. A 911 dispatcher is responsible for translating information to the rightful codes, which direct the results to law enforcers, fire fighters and paramedics for emergency assistance.

3. Operate And Monitor Computer Equipment And Radio Console

All the information that is received by the 911 dispatcher must go through the radio console and other computer equipment. A 911 dispatcher plays the role of monitoring this equipment and make necessary adjustments that would make processing of information more efficient. That means as a 911 dispatcher; you must have the technical skills to handle this equipment and to make sure that everything works efficiently.

4. Modify And Enter Dater In The Computer Database

911 dispatchers also play the role of entering and modifying data that is stored in the local, national and state computer databases. This is important since most of the information is used for conducting investigations that is why it is necessary to modify some of the information for better clarification.


911 dispatchers may spend most of their time in the office, but they play an important as other officers who are found on the scene on the incident. Furthermore, a 911 dispatcher also helps to identify the appropriate number of apparatus to dispatch for every emergency call that is received.

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