Become a Dispatcher

Start an exciting career in a fast-paced environment where you work with police, fire, and emergency medical personnel every day to protect the lives of people who live, visit, and work in San Francisco.
Watch this video to hear from dispatchers who work at the Department of Emergency Management and read this Training Program Description for an overview of what dispatchers learn in their first year on the job. 

Essential Job Functions:

  • Receives emergency and non-emergency calls and efficiently gathers, evaluates, prioritizes, and documents information from callers.
  • Dispatches police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) field units to specific locations using a computer-aided dispatch system, multiple video display terminal, two-way radio dispatch console, and related equipment.
  • Evaluates incoming reports of police, fire and medical emergencies; immediately transmits complete and accurate information to appropriate field personnel.
  • Monitors, coordinates and accurately maintains the status of incidents and the records of dispatched emergency service personnel and apparatus.
  • Receives and disseminates information from other law enforcement and emergency service computer networks related to jurisdictional requests for police, fire or medical service assistance, and related to notices of wanted persons, stolen property, warrants and all-points bulletins while maintaining confidentiality of information.
  • Maintains familiarity with area geography including major streets and buildings and recognizes circumstances that may pose hazards to public safety field units and the public.
  • Maintains up-to-date understanding of public safety policies and procedures for the Department of Emergency Management, police, fire, EMS and other emergency service providers.
  • Responds to routine and non-routine inquiries regarding police, fire, or emergency medical services; properly classifies and prioritizes any report or complaint information and determines appropriate course of action; provides appropriate referrals as necessary.
  • Responds, reports and mobilizes as necessary.
  • Works various 8-hour or 10-hour shifts, or longer, including days, nights, weekends, holidays and overtime.
  • Provides on-the-job training.

Minimum Qualifications: (Candidates must possess ALL of the following qualifications in order to be considered)

  • Two (2) years of verifiable, paid work experience in a public contact position providing and/or soliciting information or providing a service, or in a position where the primary responsibility is interacting with people.  Substitution:
    Completion of thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units of coursework from an accredited college or university may substitute for one (1) year of the required experience as described above.
  • Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent (e.g. GED or CA High School Proficiency Certification)
  • Ability to type 40 words per minute (net)
  • No felony convictions
  • Ability to complete a performance exam, oral exam, comprehensive background investigation, psychological exam, and medical exam.

How To Apply
Applications are available online: Use the search field at the top of the webpage to search for keyword “8238.”

Human Resources Hiring Documents