Public Safety Dispatchers, also known as Communications Specialists, are the vital link between the public and police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. To be a dispatcher, you need to be a person capable of making decisions, multi-tasking, and staying calm. It can be fast-paced and exciting. Dispatchers answer phone calls, evaluate the type of call, and dispatch the information to the public safety personnel who will respond.
Currently, the Center is staffed with nine full-time dispatchers, an assistant supervisor, and a supervisor. Major snowstorms or other related weather events often will require up to four or five dispatchers just to keep up with the volume of calls.
The Center currently has three identical dispatching consoles that are each equipped with a PC for the CAD system, database, report writing, paging systems, and other applications. Each console has a radio monitoring system that allows for dispatchers to speak over the air to personnel in the field. They also need to monitor special alerts from the State of NH or Homeland Security, incoming 911 calls, building security cameras, fire-box alarms, burglar alarms, and weather monitoring systems.
The center also has logging recorders with instant playback in order to retrieve a phone call or radio transmission in order to quickly verify information, such as an address from a frantic caller.
A person calling the Center will not get a recorded or automated system. Instead, every call is answered by a dispatcher in a professional and courteous manner. A dispatcher will obtain information from callers or individuals coming into the police station.
They may deal with people in emergency situations, including those who are emotionally distraught, angry, or difficult to understand. They need to quickly assess a situation and prioritize calls. They need to remain calm. They need to communicate tactfully and effectively with the public, public safety personnel, and others. They need to understand and follow oral and written instructions. They need skills such as learning how to operate the radio systems, telephones, several computer systems and applications; and perform routine office support.