HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Among the many industries facing staffing shortages is a job that many may take for granted. Huntsville Fire & Rescue is currently hiring 911 dispatchers.
When you’re having an emergency or crisis, those three numbers separate you from getting help. When calling 911, the person picking up the call is working to do everything in their power to send help quickly.
“You hear that 911 call come in and it could be an accident… or it can be a medical call, someone having a heart attack, or the baby that had fallen and hit their head, or it could be a house fire,” said Tracy Christa. She is just one of many people in that position every single day. She’s a public safety dispatcher.
Being a dispatcher is more than just answering phone calls. They’re the connection between someone needing help and someone getting help.
“We don’t just pick up the phone, talk to people,” said Christa. “We’re not just saying 10-4 on the radio. We’re having to give these guys and girls all the information pertaining to every call. We let them know when there’s a safety issue. We let them know if the scene is safe.”
Huntsville Fire & Rescue needs more people to take on that challenge.
“With the city growing at the rate that it is and the amount of land that we’re annexing into the city, our services are constantly expanding and we’re trying to keep up with that,” said Eric Jean, a communications manager for HFR.
He says the area is growing, all while fewer people are entering community service-based occupations. Over the past five to six years, Jean has noticed the number of potential candidates applying for open dispatch positions is dropping. This is why they need people to apply now.
“I know we’re looking for people that are service-driven, that want to make an impact on the community,” he said. “We’re wanting people that have a positive attitude. A good work ethic is important to us.”
Jean says if an applicant has those qualities, they can be trained on everything else.
The position is full-time and applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. They also must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.
To apply for the open position, you can click here.