This is emergency radio communications work at the first supervisory level. Employees work on assigned shifts overseeing the receipt of requests for fire and medical emergency services and the dispatching of appropriate personnel and apparatus. Positions are also responsible for developing and executing training programs, performing quality control audits of emergency calls, recommending and testing new hardware and software used in emergency dispatch work and ensuring the security of fire personnel and infrastructure at the Fire Communications Center. Work is performed under the supervision of a higher level fire equipment dispatcher.




Assigns employees to the operation of any of a variety of fire communications equipment through which requests for emergency fire, medical and other services are received and equipment dispatched in answer to such requests; coordinates the operations activities of the fire radio room; advises employees on which fire and rescue companies to dispatch in multiple alarm fires or other serious emergencies; re-assigns fire and medical equipment to ensure city-wide coverage; receives information on fire ground conditions and relays information to fire ground companies, fire department executive leadership, fire marshal's office and federal, state and local agencies which may be involved.

Meets with the other shift supervisors and administrative superiors to discuss the activities and problems of the fire radio room.

Instructs new employees in the methods and procedures used in the work and in the operation and routine maintenance of the various types of communication equipment; identifies and provides ongoing training for current employees on equipment, procedures, and certifications; trains uniform fire personnel in answering emergency calls as back-up in case of low staffing of dispatchers.

Identifies, recommends tests and inspects fire communications equipment, software and hardware located in the fire communications center and mobile command centers; liaises with contract vendors of communication hardware and software to determine installation, testing, and troubleshooting issues.

Maintains security at the Fire Department Communications Center by having responsibility for issuing security badges to all fire department personnel, contractors, and visitors; monitors the entrance and exit of visitors and personnel after hours.

Maintains routine records and log of operation on attendance, fire alarms, false alarm reports and other pertinent information; audits 911 calls and dispatch radio calls for compliance with departmental standard operating procedures, coding, and clarity of information provided; performs investigations and creates timelines of fire department communications for law enforcement, fire department administration and the media.

May be assigned to staff a Joint Operations Center, Multi-Agency Communications Center, or Forward Command Post; may be required to bring online the Fire Communications back-up center. On a continuing basis determining new street assignments, to making procedural changes pertaining to record maintenance, and to updating various emergency radio operations files and statistical records.

Performs related work as required.






         The principles, practices, methods and procedures used in operating a variety of fire radio communications equipment

         The location of fire stations and, principal fire hazards in the city

         The physical layout of the city with regard to the dispatching of apparatus or medical units

         The operation and routine maintenance of the fire alarm system equipment

         A variety of communications equipment, parts, and software




         Extracting pertinent information from callers in distress




         Supervise a group of employees engaged in receiving and dispatching fire, medical and other emergency messages on an assigned shift

         Plan, develop, conduct, and evaluate training and development programs

         Think clearly and act quickly in emergency situations

         Prepare work schedules and assignments and provide adequate duty coverage and overtime

         Prepare and maintain routine clerical records and reports

         Communicate information clearly and effectively to the general public and uniformed officers

         Utilize a variety of communications equipment including telephones, radios, headsets, and computers

         Express ideas effectively, both orally and in writing


MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE (The following statement represents the minimum training and experience standards which will be used to admit or reject applicants for tests. Applications submitted by candidates for this class will be reviewed based on training and experience requirements as approved on 8/15.)




Education equivalent to completion of the twelfth school grade.





Three years of experience operating a variety of fire communications equipment, two years of which has been above the trainee level.




Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.




Certified by the American Heart Association in the use of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillators prior to appointment and during tenure of employment

Certified by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency as a Call Taker, Fire Dispatcher, and Ambulance Dispatcher prior to appointment and during tenure of employment.

Certified by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency as a 911 Center Supervisor within one year of appointment and during tenure of employment.


Class Established 1/53

Spec. Revision 8/89

Latest Spec. Revision: CSC 8/15; Ad. Board 8/15