It is essential that dispatchers in 911 call centers are accurate, prompt, and coordinated, to ensure the public safety and maximize rapid responders' effectiveness. The dispatch manager must provide this coordination through effective supervision and ensure the smooth operation of the dispatch process. Additionally, the dispatch manager may need to liaise with the public and emergency departments (such as police and fire services). The dispatch manager is also tasked with personnel issues such as performance evaluation, scheduling, and training. Some employers may require the dispatch manager to prepare and manage departmental budgeting as well.
The dispatch manager must be able to effectively supervise teams in high-stress emergency situations. They must be able to communicate effectively and perform important duties quickly and with little warning. The dispatch manager must have a thorough understanding of the emergency response process - including the computer-assisted dispatch systems - and be able to teach the process to others; they must also occasionally use this process personally when required to answer calls.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required in many agencies. Most employers require that prospective applicants have worked in an emergency call center environment for as many as five years, with some of that time spent in a supervisory role. Any external experience managing teams may be preferred.
Dispatch Manager Tasks
Supervise and direct workers, materials, equipment, and service vehicles.
Communicate customer needs to work crews, monitor progress, and coordinate responses.
Prepare departmental budget and track metrics related to time, requests, cost, and staffing.
Hire, train, mentor, and evaluate staff, including setting schedules and developing training programs.