Call handlers and emergency medical dispatchers work in ambulance control rooms as part of a team. The call handler will take essential details about a patient's condition and location and log the information onto a computer system and the emergency medical dispatcher will make a decision about how best to handle the situation. They both work under pressure and can be dealing with life threatening situations.
There are no set entry requirements to become an emergency medical dispatcher or call handler but employers expect good standards of literacy, numeracy and IT skills. Some may ask for qualifications such as GCSEs, NVQs or equivalent.
Employers will often ask for relevant work experience, it would be an advantage if you have worked a call centre, customer service or healthcare role.
As the job involves night shifts, some employers specify that you have to be 18 to apply.
Although this job role does not require formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.
If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.
Career Path and Progression
You could progress to become a team leader or supervisor. You would be in charge of a team of call handlers or dispatchers, responsible for allocation work and drawing up schedules. With further experience you could become a duty manage, responsible for the call centre during shifts.
You could take further training to become an emergency care assistant and with more experience you could apply to train as a paramedic.
- stay calm under pressure
- have a reassuring manner
- deal with people who may be angry or upset
- work well in a team
- Able to follow procedures
- listen carefully and take in information quickly and accurately
- excellent keyboard skills
£18,005 to £21,142