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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    5

    Smile Police Dispatcher / Rotating Shift Work Advice!

    Hi everyone,

    My background is in forensics and disaster relief, and I just moved to a new state for my fiance's job. Now I am looking for work in my field. My ultimate goal would be to work full-time in disaster relief or possibly emergency management because I like helping others in their greatest time of need and I have a good mind for it (I can handle disturbing or upsetting things without breaking down).

    I was recently offered a job as a part-time police dispatcher on a rotating shift schedule. I have two main things that I am looking for more information on:

    1) What are the pros and cons of being a police dispatcher? If you were a dispatcher, did you burn out quickly? If you are a dispatcher, do you have any advice?

    2) How do you handle sporadic, rotating shift work? I think I personally would be able to handle consistent shift work better (nights for a long period of time, mids for a long period of time, then days for a long period of time), but unfortunately this position requires flexibility in shifts. I could be on nights for a few days, then in a few days I could be on days, I could work doubles, etc. How might this affect me?

    There is a part of me that thinks this position could be a really great challenge! However, deploying to disasters, setting up shelters, and doing fieldwork is more my style...those jobs are just harder to come by.

    Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    159

    Police Dispatcher/Rotating Shift Work Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by celinea View Post
    Hi everyone,

    My background is in forensics and disaster relief, and I just moved to a new state for my fiance's job. Now I am looking for work in my field. My ultimate goal would be to work full-time in disaster relief or possibly emergency management because I like helping others in their greatest time of need and I have a good mind for it (I can handle disturbing or upsetting things without breaking down).

    I was recently offered a job as a part-time police dispatcher on a rotating shift schedule. I have two main things that I am looking for more information on:

    1) What are the pros and cons of being a police dispatcher? If you were a dispatcher, did you burn out quickly? If you are a dispatcher, do you have any advice?

    2) How do you handle sporadic, rotating shift work? I think I personally would be able to handle consistent shift work better (nights for a long period of time, mids for a long period of time, then days for a long period of time), but unfortunately this position requires flexibility in shifts. I could be on nights for a few days, then in a few days I could be on days, I could work doubles, etc. How might this affect me?

    There is a part of me that thinks this position could be a really great challenge! However, deploying to disasters, setting up shelters, and doing fieldwork is more my style...those jobs are just harder to come by.
    Well, at the risk of sounding like Mr. Obvious, the pro of dispatching for you is that it will develop your career in emergency management. You will have a much better upstanding of public safety by having experience in a 911 PSAP. The cons are that it is stressful and can involve horrible hours, etc. I have never been a full time, permanent dispatcher, but I have filled in back in the day. My best advice is to network with other dispatchers, both local to your area in person and through online forums. Get involved and get as much training as you can.

    I happen to think that sporadic, rotating shift work is awful. I am sure that you would be able to handle a fixed shift better. I have found that most people do. The good thing is you will get experience on all shifts. The bad thing is the stress on you or working wacky hours. Do your best to eat right and still exercise when you can. Be the best dispatcher that you can be.

    Get your state EM classes and FEMA classes completed. Get involved with your state EM Association. Attend the conferences and network, network, network. Get your amateur radio license. Lots of hams like to volunteer and getting to know them can't hurt. Also, volunteer your time, if you can, to the local Red Cross or Salvation Army office. Then, when a nice slot opens up in the Red Cross, Salvation Army, county or state division of emergency management, there is a good chance that you will already know some of the people that will interview you!

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    159

    Police Dispatcher / Rotating Shift Work Advice!

    Two other things.

    You should look into APCO http://www.apco911.org/

    This article might interest you You Can’t Just Do My (Dispatcher) Job - Officer.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Western Hemisphere
    Posts
    541
    Jim nailed it. I dispatched full time as a police officer after a serious ankle injury on light duty. We were all 9-1-1 certified in order to relieve the dispatchers when needed. I loved the full time stuff for six months. My shift was akward; but our PD shifts were awkward also at that time: 4 days; one off; 3 nights two off; 3 days; two off; four nights; 7 off. Granted, that schedule didn't last too long as it wasn't efficient. I found that extreme radio comms etiquette (voice tone) is particularly important as a dispatcher, versus officers' tone on the road. Also, don't forget about FEMA part-time deployment positions. FEMA has more part timers than full timers filling roles during emergency declarations in my experience: Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav & Ike. Best of luck to you!
    Stay safe!

    FedAgent

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thank you very much, Jim! I really appreciate your insight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    5
    Thank you as well, FedAgent!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
    Also, volunteer your time, if you can, to the local Red Cross or Salvation Army office.
    Also, I have been an American Red Cross volunteer since 2011, so that's good!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    159

    Police Dispatcher/Rotating Shift Work Advice!

    Here is what the Minnesota State Patrol looks for:

    https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/J...63da962fa/View

    Note the Preferred Qualifications:



    1. Professional certification(s) from APCO (Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, Intl) and/or NENA (National Emergency Number Association) or NAED (National Academies of Emergency Dispatch)

    2. Post-secondary certificate or degree


    I am not sure of the APCO, NENA, or NAED list which is most highly regarded. I suspect other forums might reveal that answer.


    RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OPERATOR

    $ 15.99-$ 22.60 hourly, $ 33,387-$ 47,189 annually



    Date Posted:



    04/19/2013



    Closing Date:



    07/19/2013



    Working Title:



    Minnesota State Patrol (MSP)



    Hiring Agency:



    Public Safety Dept



    Location:



    Roseville, MN or Rochester, MN



    Who May Apply:



    Open to all qualified job seekers



    Posting Number:



    130583000001



    Employment Conditions:



    Permanent, Full-time



    Work Shift:



    Rotating Shift



    Days of Work:



    Varies



    Travel Required:



    no



    Job Grouping:



    Const Facil Maint Mfg & Trans



    Classified Status:



    Classified







    What's Great About This Job:



    We are in the process of reviewing resumes for upcoming vacancies in ROCHESTER, MN and ROSEVILLE, MN. The current contract allows for a $2 differential in addition to the regular rate of pay when working in the Twin Cities Metro area (ROSEVILLE ONLY). As vacancies occur, we will make interview selections from all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and have indicated their interest in this work location and these employment conditions.

    Permanent positions may qualify for a benefit package that includes paid vacation, holiday and sick leave, health and dental insurance for you and eligible dependents, basic term life, pre-tax medical/dental insurance premiums and a defined benefit pension plan. Optional benefits include: additional term life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, short and long-term disability insurance, child life insurance, long-term care insurance, pre-tax benefits for medical/dental, dependent day care, transit expense and deferred compensation.




    Job Description:



    Receive and process requests for public safety services from wireless 911 calls using customer service skills and training that is provided. Enter events into computer aided dispatch system and dispatch the calls to available State Troopers and other field personnel in a timely manner. Receive, disseminate, and process data from many sources.

    This is a 24/7 operation including weekends and holidays. Employees work rotating shifts with varied hours.





    Minimum Qualifications:



    PLEASE NOTE: To facilitate proper crediting, ensure that your resume clearly describes your experience in the areas listed and indicates the beginning and ending month and year for each job held.

    1. Successful applicant will have:

    a. Six (6) months experience as a dispatcher for a public safety or military safety entity OR
    b. Six (6) months experience as a customer service representative OR
    c. Three (3) years of experience as a full time licensed police officer

    2. Candidates selected for employment will be required to pass a skills assessment test within the first 2 months of the probationary phase of employment

    Physical Requirements:

    Ability to hear, process, and relay information accurately
    Ability to remain calm during stressful situations
    Movement to use several computers, keyboards, and mice
    Ability to remain aware of surroundings while receiving information from telephone, radio, or person
    Excellent customer service skills
    Ability to speak English clearly
    Must stay at workstation for long periods
    Must be able to wear a headset

    Requires occasionally moving and/or transporting such articles as file boxes or heavier materials with help from others and/or moving and/or transporting light objects frequently. Even though the weights being moved and/or transported may only be a negligible amount, a job in this category may require walking or standing to a significant degree or may involve sitting most of the time with a degree of pushing and pulling of arm and/or leg controls.






    Preferred Qualifications:



    1. Professional certification(s) from APCO (Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, Intl) and/or NENA (National Emergency Number Association) or NAED (National Academies of Emergency Dispatch)

    2. Post-secondary certificate or degree





    Selection Process:



    A review of the submitted resume to determine if the applicant meets the posted minimum qualifications of the vacancy.

    * MN DPS anticipates vacancies immediately and may begin to consider applicants as of April 29, 2013. Resumes received in response to this announcement will be used to fill vacancies in the Radio Communications Operator class within the Minnesota State Patrol.

    TWO WORK LOCATIONS ARE REPRESENTED IN THIS ANNOUNCEMENT:
    Roseville, MN and Rochester, MN

    This list may continue to be used for up to 3 months. After list expiration a notice will be sent to all applicants indicating that this announcement expired. Applicants must reapply to be considered for future vacancies.

    PLEASE NOTE: All job offers are contingent upon candidate passing:

    1. A criminal history check
    2. Reference checks
    3. Driver?s license history
    4. Fingerprints

    Please ensure your resume has current contact information. Updates will be sent to the e-mail address listed on your resume.






    How to Apply:



    Vacancies will be filled in either the ROSEVILLE or ROCHESTER location and we continuously review new resumes to prepare for upcoming vacancies.

    Please create your account and submit your resume at <https://statejobs.doer.state.mn.us/ResumeBuilder> You may copy and paste your existing resume or let the software create one. You may edit your resume later should your contact information or experience change. Resume Builder also collects your work preference information so we can match you with future job openings. PLEASE BE SURE YOUR APPLICATION CLEARLY IDENTIFIES WHICH LOCATION(S)YOU ARE WILLING TO WORK.

    NOTE: You may only apply once to this announcement. To facilitate proper crediting, please ensure that your resume clearly describes your experience in the areas listed and indicates the beginning and ending month and year for each job held.

    How to Check Status of Application:

    Login to your My State Job Search account, select <Apply to Jobs> to check the status of the jobs to which you have applied or contact the person indicated on the job posting.




    Contact for More Information:



    Julie Bever, (651) 201-7374/[email protected]


 

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