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Working & jobs

Become a dispatcher

The Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) hires dispatchers to work in the Fire Communications Center (FCC). These dispatchers have critical duties:

  • Answering 911 calls in one of the busiest fire/EMS systems in the nation.
  • Dispatching fire companies and ambulances to emergencies across the city.
  • Serving as a liaison to other public safety agencies during these incidents.

Hiring process

Check the City jobs page for the Civil Service exam announcement.

The City jobs page will list the position as a police communications dispatcher, even for PFD. The Police and Fire Departments hire dispatchers from the same applicant pool.

Due to a residency requirement enacted in 2020, you must have established residence in the City one year prior to appointment. Non-residents will not be eligible for job opportunities and will not be contacted as job opportunities arise until one year from the date that they establish residency. For additional information on residency, please contact the Office of Human Resources at
Apply for the position.
If you’re selected, you’ll be notified of the exam date by email.
Take the exam.
Candidates are ranked by performance on a hiring list.
The PFD or Police Department will request the hiring list when they need to hire dispatchers.
Candidates are contacted in ranked order. If the PFD is hiring but you would rather work for Police, you can decline the PFD offer while keeping your rank on the list.
Interview with PFD.
These interviews are scheduled and conducted by PFD’s human resources department and FCC chiefs.
If you’re offered the position, complete your training.

Candidates must complete six to eight weeks of classroom training, and up to four weeks of on-the-job training. Trainees are paid during this time.


The starting salary for a fire equipment dispatcher trainee is $42,379. After a year of good performance, trainees are promoted to fire equipment dispatcher. The starting salary is $47,922 and goes up to $52,519. There are opportunities for overtime and promotions.