Featured Job: Public Safety Dispatcher

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This is specialized communications work in receiving and dispatching accurate information on an assigned shift to appropriate personnel.

Positions in this class are employed in both police and fire communications and dispatch personnel based on seven digit calls and 911 calls.

Work involves responsibility for operation of specialized radio utilizing multiple channels and frequencies in a communication center. Position requires fast, efficient, and accurate receiving, dispatching, and processing of calls and messages from and to appropriate vehicles and personnel. Employees work in considerable independence, subject to instructions or orders to meet special operating circumstances or emergencies.

Dispatches appropriate firefighting equipment in response to requests for services and in accordance with established procedures. Maintains contact with units on assignment as well as those not on assignments; maintains status and location of all fire units using a computer aided dispatch system. Enters, updates, and retrieves information from computer systems. Monitors multiple radio frequencies simultaneously. Answers non-emergency calls for assistance. Operates a variety of computerized communications equipment including radio console, telephones and dispatch system.

In addition to processing emergency calls for Huntsville Fire and Rescue, provides assistance in receiving and processing 911 emergency calls for all other fire, medical and law enforcement agencies within Madison County.

Requires regular and prompt attendance plus the ability to work well with others and work well as a team. Performs related work as required.


Work is performed in a communications center building without windows. Work is essentially sedentary with occasional walking, bending, lifting of objects under 25 pounds, or minimal physical activities.

Work requires the ability to sit for extended periods of time and is often fast-paced in a harried work atmosphere, confronted by disturbing or stressful call situations. Must be capable of operating a visual display terminal for extended periods of time. Must be able to enter  data into a keyboard device, which requires continuous, repetitive arm/hand movement.

Fire Communications Dispatchers must also be able to hear alarms and other auditory warning devices and must be able to differentiate colors on a computer monitor.

This is shift work including weekends and holidays and employees must be willing and available to work additional hours beyond their assigned shifts, sometimes with little or no notice.


High school diploma from a school accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or GED certificate issued by the appropriate state agency is required.

Must be able to type a minimum of 35 words per minute on a computer keyboard.

Must have the ability to multi-task, speak clearly and precisely in a well-modulated voice and to use good diction.

Must have the ability to think and act quickly, calmly, and accurately in an emergency and under stress.

Must be able to exercise good judgment and make sound decisions in emergency situations; effectively communicate with and elicit information from upset and irate citizens.

Must be able to learn geographic features and streets of the City of Huntsville and surrounding area; spell accurately and have the ability to listen and fully understand what a caller is saying as well as differentiate and note any background noises (i.e., gunshots, yelling and/or screaming).

All applicants will be required to attend a mandatory orientation for this position conducted by fire communications personnel. Applicants will be notified as to the date, time, and location of the mandatory orientation. Applicants who fail to attend or make other arrangements regarding the mandatory orientation will automatically be eliminated from the hiring process.

After attending the mandatory orientation, a typing test, spelling test, and a Public Safety Telecommunicator Exam will be administered.  Applicants who successfully pass all three tests will be eligible to be considered for an oral  interview.  Applicant(s) who receive a conditional job offer for employment must also pass a criminal background investigation and drug screening test.


Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.

Must obtain and maintain certifications in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), Emergency Fire Dispatch (EF), and CPR.

All Fire & Rescue Public Safety Dispatchers shall be required to attend two (2) courses through the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) to obtain certification as EMD and EFD.  These certifications must be obtained within 12 months after hire and/or promotion date subject to class availability and funding.

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