Dispatchers are essentially in charge of ensuring that personnel, travelers and goods depart one location and arrive at another in a timely, effective and safe manner for both civilian and military operations. Dispatchers are vital to the industries they serve.
Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services
Emergency service dispatchers work for police, sheriff and other law enforcement agencies, fire departments and emergency medical services. The duties of emergency service dispatchers include answering calls and prioritizing the level of emergency, dispatching the appropriate personnel, operating the phone and computer systems handling pertinent information about the emergency and assisting the caller to communicate critical information about the emergency accurately. In small departments, dispatchers may also be required to collect and catalog evidence and incident information and perform clerical support.
Dispatchers for taxi services are also known as starters. Dispatch duties include answering called-in requests for cab service and sending the cabbies to the customer via radio, cell phone or computer. Cab dispatchers also assist drivers with directions to pickup locations and around closed streets and traffic pileups. When emergency assistance is needed by a driver, it is often the responsibility of the dispatcher to request required services.
Airport and Airline
These dispatchers need licensed airman certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Aircraft dispatcher/air traffic controller responsibilities include controlling takeoffs and landings at the airport, analyzing weather and making flight course adjustments, ensuring fuel and maintenance requirements are fulfilled before takeoff and canceling or rescheduling flights for any reason that might put passengers and crew at risk. Preparing flight plans and dispatch releases are also part of the job. While dispatched and incoming planes are in the air, it is the responsibility of the dispatcher to keep pilots apprised of any changes of flight plan because of weather, traffic delays or fly-zone closures.
Train and Rail
The responsibilities of this job are similar to those in the airline industry, and the dispatcher/controller is equally accountable for the safety of train crews, passengers and cargo. The computerized dispatch system used by almost all railroad companies has active monitors with colored lines representing train activity; dispatchers must interpret this activity and communicate it to engineers and other controllers. Periodically, dispatchers will be required to override the computer and make manual switching adjustments.
- Photo Credit close up of police dispatcher"s mouth image by David Smith from Fotolia.com
Job Description of a Truck Dispatcher
Truck dispatchers are responsible for coordinating the movements of trucks that are entering terminals. Dispatchers communicate with truck drivers through computers, phones...
Bus Dispatcher Job Description
The job of a bus dispatcher is one that requires alertness, extraordinary attention to detail, multi-tasking skills, and the ability to respond...
What Is the Job Description of a Police Dispatcher?
Police dispatchers are members of law enforcement who answer calls for emergency services in a calm manner. The dispatcher must determine quickly...
Dispatch Clerk Job Description
The function of a dispatch clerk is critical to any operation that involves moving freight, commodities or persons from one place to...
Security Dispatcher Job Description
Security dispatchers have to dispatch work crews, workers or equipment. Dispatchers may use telephones, radios or computers to transmit assignments and to...
Job Responsibilities of a Delivery Driver
Delivery drivers must load and unload heavy packages on a daily basis as well as perform routine maintenance of trucks and cars...
911 Dispatcher Responsibilities & Daily Activities
Dispatchers for 911 emergency calls have a high intensity job where they may serve as someone’s only line between life and death....