More than a Call Taker!
While the City of Santa Clara's Communications Center fielded 170,127 calls in 2016, call taking is only one of many responsibilities of Public Safety Dispatchers. Of these calls, 89,065 resulted in calls for service (50,211 Police; 28,374 Self-Initiated Police Calls for Service; 10,480 Fire).
- Answer 9-1-1 calls
- Provide medical instructions over the phone
- Maintain the Computer Aided Dispatch records
- Receive requests for other services (e.g. water, sewer, electrical) after hours, on weekends and holidays
- Facilitate the City of Santa Clara’s MedicAlert Foundation program
- Monitor Police Building security cameras
- Greet and provide services to contractors, vendors and the public non-business Police Building hours
- Report statistics to local, State and Federal agencies
- Respond to citizen commendations/complaints, review audiotapes and develop in-house training accordingly
- Attend P.O.S.T. mandated trainings
In Support of Law Enforcement
- Obtain pertinent caller/witness information, dispatch appropriate law enforcement resources, ensure the appropriate staffing is directed to the scene, initiate perimeters, broadcast and receive mutual aid requests, maintain radio contact with the police officers, call-out additional resources as needed (e.g. tactical teams, accident reconstruction, medical examiner)
- Arrange for assistance to police officers in the field (e.g. call tow company)
- Testify in court regarding the authenticity of archived recordings and actions taken by public safety dispatchers
In Support of Fire and Emergency Medical Service Operations
- Receive initial calls for services and determine nature, dispatch the proper apparatus (e.g. rescue, medic, etc.), activate Zetron alert system, provide pre-arrival instructions, coordinate response to incidents (e.g. police for crowd control, water department to flush hydrants, etc.), advise responding fire companies of changing situations, request specialized resources (e.g. HazMat team) and update emergency personnel as additional information becomes available
Public Safety Dispatchers are highly trained, incredibly talented and work under immense pressure.