How to become a Radio Dispatcher

Radio dispatchers provide radio and communications services for the coordination of operational units in transport, courier, emergency, military, security, rescue and road service organisations.

Personal requirements of a Radio Dispatcher

  • Good communication skills
  • Able to think clearly and act quickly
  • Able to stay calm in difficult situations
  • Able to multitask
  • Aptitude for technical activities

Education & Training for a Radio Dispatcher

You can work as a radio dispatcher without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. You will probably get some informal training on the job.

Duties & Tasks of a Radio Dispatcher

Radio dispatchers may perform the following tasks:

  • receive and relay radio or telecommunications messages from operational units, customers, the public or organisations such as the police, ambulance and fire services
  • coordinate radio or network communications between operational units
  • record critical information from emergency, routine and administrative calls
  • relay information to enable mobilisation of appropriate resources and personnel
  • start and maintain communications during emergency situations and guide callers until emergency services arrive at the scene
  • prepare accurate and detailed reports of communications traffic
  • coordinate the movements of mobile units.

Working conditions for a Radio Dispatcher

In some states and territories, radio dispatchers who work in the emergency services sector (police, fire and ambulance) may be required to be uniformed officers, and therefore must meet the selection criteria for that occupation. Refer to the separate entries for Firefighter, Paramedic and Police Officer - State for full details.

Employment Opportunities for a Radio Dispatcher

Radio dispatchers are employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis, and may be required to do shift and weekend work. Radio dispatchers who have undertaken appropriate training or who have suitable experience are highly regarded and sought after by employers.

Additional Information
To work as a civilian radio dispatcher in the emergency services, you will need to have Australian citizenship or permanent residency status, hold a current Provide First Aid Certificate, pass medical and psychological assessments, and undergo a National Police Check. You may also need to meet typing requirements, including words per minute and accuracy.
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