911 dispatchers needed for Chesapeake emergency operations

Posted at 2:00 PM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 11:57:47-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va.- Looking for a rewarding career? Look no further than the Chesapeake dispatch center.

The need is great right now as the 911 center continues to operate understaffed. Full staffing means there are 66 employees answering emergency and non-emergency calls. Right now there are 14 vacancies!

Current dispatchers have to work 12-hour shifts with mandatory overtime every week! They are all looking forward to applicants to take on the crucial role as they work to promote the job openings as 2019 kicks off.

What does that mean for a caller? Possibly a waiting period. If all 911 dispatchers are tied up, someone calling in might have to hold to talk to someone and in an emergency situation where every second counts.

Related: New communication system in Isle of Wight County ensures safety of officers, citizens 

It's not just in Chesapeake; supervisors tell News 3 there is a regional and national need for reliable dispatchers to join the force. The training is long and rigorous, but once cut loose, every dispatcher is prepared to answer any call that comes in.

They field emergency calls but also coordinate with police, fire and medics to make sure citizens are well-served.

Dispatchers told New 3 they feel like they really help people who call in. Whether they are talking someone through how to give CPR or keeping them calm as help arrives, they say the work is very fulfilling.

Related: New technology will help improve emergency care between first responders and Chesapeake Regional staff 

As a new employee, you would have to complete a 10-week classroom training portion before you begin training on calls. The entire training process can take a year or more, but this ensures the employees are 100 percent prepared once they are cut loose.

The building where the dispatch center is located is a state-of-the-art facility and many employees said it is a great place to work.

A break down of the position:

Title of Vacant Position: Dispatcher I

Job Type: Full-Time

Number of hours worked per week: 40 hours + Overtime as needed.

Work Schedule: Day/Night (12hr) - fixed for 4 months

Work Site Location: Chesapeake Police Emergency Communications Center

Salary: $35,808   ($17.22/hour)

Job Description: The selected candidate will dispatch emergency services in response to calls for assistance and will be responsible for answering emergency service telephones, dispatching appropriate emergency services, maintaining emergency reference materials, maintaining logs and tapes, and servicing/maintaining equipment. The selected candidate will also work within a general outline of work to be performed, and develop work methods and sequences under general supervision.

Additionally, this position provides service to the community on a 24 hour basis during all hours of the day and night. In order to accommodate this 24 hour service, the selected candidate will be required to work on rotating schedules, which includes working weekends and holidays, and may involve in excess of regularly scheduled hours (overtime) when required by operational necessity.

Think you are interested in taking on a new career? Apply here.