911 Lead Dispatcher
in Boston, MA

Position Overview

In addition to all Telecommunicator functions, the 911 Lead Dispatcher is responsible for assisting and supporting the Center Manager with routine operations of the Communications Center and performing operational and supervisory functions of the center in the Manager’s absence. The 911 Lead Dispatcher will report directly to the Center Manager and will work closely in coordination with the Regional Director during times of the Manager’s absence.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities
  • Processes incoming and outgoing emergency and non-emergency telephone calls, ensuring agency policy, procedures and goals are met.
  • Dispatches and communicates with law enforcement, fire and EMS units ensuring agency policy, procedures and goals are met.
  • Responsible for time sensitive work involving the transmission of radio and telephone information and requests to public safety agencies.
  • Must deal with sensitive information in a discreet and professional manner.
  • Handle and complete highly sensitive emergency calls with an indefinite amount of discretion and judgement to ensure public safety at all times.
  • Communicates in a positive manner with Center Manager and other center staff.
  • Works in an environment where multiple activities are routinely underway that influence the performance of the duties assigned.
  • Ability to speak English clearly and verbally communicate effectively.
  • Work effectively and calmly in a high stress environment.
  • Ability to recall details and record information/numbers quickly and correctly.
  • Maintains familiarity with the general geography of the communities served.
  • Ability to simultaneously process information from multiple sources (verbal, texts, notifications and/or emails) and keep information clear.
  • Ability to make appropriate decisions based on minimal information.
  • Assists the Center Manager with the Quality Assurance program as prescribed.
  • Meets all training requirements of the Center.
  • Assists the Center Manager in ensuring all Center training requirements are met.
  • Learns and trains on a variety of technology including computers, radios and telephone systems.
  • Coordinates, conducts, and documents personnel training.
  • Provides feedback to trainees throughout various types of training.
  • Provides specific trainee performance to Center Manager and identifies staff in need of remedial training due to performance issues.
  • Monitors, documents and reports trainee performance, as prescribed.
  • Coordinates with management to identify “in-service” training needs relevant to policy and procedure as well as professional development of center staff.
  • Provides input regarding policies and procedures pertaining to the operation of the Center.
  • Be available for overtime as needed.
  • Reports commendable performance or deficiencies or liability issues to Center Manager in a timely manner.
  • Coordinates with management to implement changes in Center procedures.
  • Provides input to Center Manager for performance evaluations of assigned employees where applicable.
  • Manages shifts to ensure minimum staffing levels are maintained to meet required call processing goals; amends shift schedules as needed during the Center Manager’s absence.
  • Monitor’s staff performance to ensure agency policy, procedures and performance goals are met during the Center Manager’s absence.
  • Documents employee performance in absence of the Center Manager and coordinates with management for further training or disciplinary actions related to the operations of the Center.
  • Any other assigned duties.
Required Knowledge/Skills
  • Knowledge of all aspects of a communications center operation.
  • Knowledge of communication facilities, equipment and management practices as they pertain to the operation of a public safety communications center.
  • Knowledge of technology systems utilized by a public safety communications center.
  • Knowledge of rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) as they pertain to the operation of a public safety communications center.
  • Knowledge of mentoring, training and coaching new hires/trainees during the on-the-job training phase (OJT), and subsequent training needs as identified.
  • Knowledge of accepted call handling practices for public safety call-takers with an emphasis on professionalism and high level of customer service.
  • Knowledge of mentoring, training and coaching new hires/trainees during the on-the-job training phase.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of radio communications as well as the proper policies and procedures used in public safety dispatching with an emphasis on professionalism and high level of customer service.
  • Knowledge of agency’s geographical service areas and relationship/location of public safety responders.
  • Knowledge of operational needs of public safety responders.
  • Knowledge of National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) as it relates to a public safety communications center.

Requirements
  • Work independently with minimal or no supervision.
  • Supervise and evaluate assigned personnel as needed.
  • Assist with coordination of training for assigned staff.
  • Coordinate multiple priorities and completing demands on time.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally, both orally and in writing.
  • Work collaboratively and cooperatively with co-workers and personnel from customer agencies.
  • Present ideas and recommendations in a clear and concise manner.
  • Be reliable, dependable and demonstrate a favorable attendance and punctuality record.
  • Position is an ‘Essential Employee’ position requiring work during holidays, weekends, day/evening/night shifts, overtime and in a state of emergency
  • Work a varied schedule as required based on operation needs.
Required Qualifications and Skills
  • Six (6) months of practical working knowledge and experience working in the MBTA Operations Center or similarly structured communications center (mandatory)
  • Must complete/have completed:
  • Basic Emergency Telecommunicator Certification (ETC) recognized by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED)
  • General police, fire and EMS operations training

Work Environment
  • Shift work environment where hours of work will be driven by the call volume demands of the agency rather than convenience of the staff.
  • 24/7 operations with work scheduled on days others consider holidays.
  • Work performed at a stationary work station.
  • Occasionally will need to handle hostile or abusive callers in a professional manner.
  • Must be able to perform under pressure and in a stressful environment.
  • 85% of work is performed in the communications room with constant noise.
  • 10% of work is in an office environment with moderate interruptions.
  • 5% of work is performed in attendance of meetings on and off site.

Physical Demands
  • Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate personal computers.
  • Sitting for extended periods of time while working at computer keyboards, monitoring a variety of public safety communications systems and completing documentation required of operations.
  • Vision, specifically to include up close, distance, color and peripheral; depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • Hearing and speaking to exchange information with emergency callers and public safety personnel.


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Learn more about a career as a dispatcher by watching this video (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook):