A “Special Call” for 911 Dispatchers: St. Louis County seeking qualified candidates

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - Faced with a staffing shortage, St. Louis County is seeking qualified candidates to work as 911 dispatchers.

Public safety dispatchers serve an important role, Emergency Communications Center Watch Commander Jason Meziere said.

“You’re dealing with people’s lives, whether it be the person who calls in asking for help. And you’re trying to get them the right help, as quick as possible. Or it’s the officer that’s walking into a dark building at 3 o’clock in the morning. You’re his lifeline, he said.”

Dispatchers process emergency and non-emergency calls at the EOC. The work also includes dispatching police units to requests for service.

It is a job that requires multi-tasking, patience, and quick thinking.

Dispatchers work four shifts a week:  two eight-hour shifts, and two 12-hour shifts, Meziere said. It is a job that can be trying, given the different shifts and intensity of some calls.

But the plusses are hard to overlook, Meziere said. Some of the key perks: the benefits, which include health insurance, 20 days of paid time off, 10 paid holidays, and a traditional pension plan with vesting after five years.

Training for a dispatcher position lasts about one year.

Meziere, now working his seventh year at the ECC, says the benefits are enticing. But he said there are even greater benefits that don’t come on paper.

“What I really like is the people I work with. And that’s what it takes. We’re here together all the time,” he said. “I’m proud to work for the department. I didn’t see myself doing this. Here I am.”

Interested candidates can apply through the County’s website.