PAY RANGE: N15






            This is emergency fire and medical communications work at the second supervisory level with responsibility for directing, through subordinate supervisors, the daily operations of the Philadelphia Fire Department’s communications center. An employee in this class also serves as the Chief Fire Equipment Dispatcher in his or her absence.  Training civilian dispatchers and fire personnel in the operation of the communications center and repairing and maintaining associated computer console and portable radio communication equipment are significant aspects of the work. Work is performed under the general supervision of a technical superior.


ALLOCATING FACTORS: (The following conditions must be met for a position to be allocated to this class.)


•           must maintain the computerized data files of the emergency fire and medical communications system.

•           must direct, in the absence of the Chief Fire Equipment Dispatcher, the operation of the emergency fire and medical communications system.

•           must be located in the Fire Department.




            Develops and coordinates work schedules to maintain proper coverage of the fire communications center; discusses and makes changes if necessary to resolve any scheduling problems; assigns substitute supervisors and dispatchers as needed; reviews fire and other emergency reports submitted; compiles statistical information on emergency responses and other pertinent information from reports; operates computer systems to retrieve information as needed and prepares reports of dispatch information from computerized records; updates computer files.

            Supervises, through subordinate supervisors, the daily operations of the Fire Communications Center; ensures minimum staffing levels are maintained; advises employees on appropriate fire and rescue equipment to dispatch in multiple alarm fires or other serious emergencies; advises employees on department policies and procedures; provides guidance to subordinate supervisors on staffing and operational issues in the communications center.

            Develops and updates detailed design documents and associated program for computer‑aided dispatch procedures to be used in the communications center and field units; operates computer primary and backup system to enter or retrieve information as needed; prepares reports of dispatch information; updates computerized files such as street and street aliases, premise history, fire response, box and adjacent box, fire station order and intersection.

            Updates fire equipment assignments within the computer aided dispatch system and revises history and information files; performs minor repairs to computer console and portable radio communication equipment as needed.

            Ensures the training of new civilian dispatchers; issues training manuals and instructions to new employees; updates training manuals; revises and approves new training programs; explains the operation of the fire communications center and the work routines to be followed; gives lectures and demonstrations relative to the operation of the fire communication system to new firefighters, civic organizations and other groups.

            Meets with representatives of the City Planning Commission and public utilities to receive information relative to construction projects, new structures or street name changes which would impact on the routing of emergency fire and medical equipment; updates computer files to reflect changes.

            Performs related work as required.






·         the principles, practices, methods and procedures used in operating a variety of fire alarm communications equipment

·         principal fire hazards in an urban area

·         manual and computer‑aided dispatch systems, including files, functions and capabilities

·         call screening procedures, priority dispatch, and emergency medical protocols

·         the methods and techniques involved in recording and reproducing recordings of emergency calls

·         the operation of the fire alarm signal system

·         principles and techniques in supervising employees engaged in receiving and dispatching fire alarm and other emergency messages




·         supervise the activities of dispatchers performing emergency communications work

·         assume command of the Fire Communications Center in multiple alarm fires and other emergency events

·         learn the location of fire stations and the physical layout of the city

·         learn the locations of principal fire hazards within the city

·         oversee routine maintenance of radio equipment

·         maintain records and prepare reports

·         train new dispatchers in the operation of the emergency fire and medical communications system

·         operate various computerized, technological and communications equipment

·         develop CAD operational procedures


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.





            One year of experience supervising the operation of a wide variety of fire communications equipment.




            Any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by the Office of Human Resources that has included the specific experience described above and the certifications described below.




            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 any state or federal agency as a 911 Call Taker, 911 Dispatcher, 911 Telecommunicator or equivalent prior to appointment and during tenure of employment

            Certified by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency as a Call Taker, Fire Dispatcher, Ambulance Dispatcher and 911 Center Supervisory within 18 months of appointment and during tenure of employment.

            Possession of an Emergency Medical Dispatch certification, as issued by Priority Dispatch, within one year of appointment and during tenure of appointment as the Fire Equipment Dispatcher Assistant Chief.


Class Established: CSC ‑ 4/92; Ad. Board ‑ 5/92

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