‘It’s controlled chaos’: JFRD looking for 911 dispatchers, asking for veterans to fill the role

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There is a critical need for 911 dispatchers in the City of Jacksonville as call volumes continue to increase. Their role is crucial to public safety in our community.

“They are really on the front line,” JFRD Chief Keith Powers said. “As we like to say, ‘the tip of the spear’ when it comes to saving lives in this community.”

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Action News Jax first told you Sunday about the 12 open positions. The department’s goal is to hire military veterans who know this kind of work and stress firsthand.

“It’s controlled chaos,” Powers said. “Everybody knows their job and knows what they’re doing.”

In an Action News Jax exclusive, we were able to get a behind-the-scenes look to show viewers how these 911 dispatch centers operate.

“They are the unsung heroes, but what people don’t understand is they are the ones that first talk to you,” Powers said. “[They’re] the ones who get the right apparatus coming to them, and they were the ones talking through those lifesaving techniques until we can get there and get them transported to the hospital and stabilized.”

Not only do these men and women work to get rescue crews to your home quickly, they also often give emergency instructions over the phone.

“These folks do a lot of stuff before our firefighters even get on scene,” Powers said. “They deliver babies. They talk people through delivering babies. We give a little award out when they do that. They coach people through CPR, how to control bleeding.”

The monthly average for call volume is 1,300 calls during the day and 800 at night. In total, the center gets approximately 2,100 calls each month.

“The call demand is extremely high right now,” Powers said. “So, we need additional dispatchers.”

While anyone can apply, the department would especially like to have military veterans apply.

“The city and the department would love to support our veterans,” Powers said. “You know they served our country, and I feel like we owe them something back.”

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The position offers benefits such as competitive wages, paid training and health insurance.

If you are interested, you can apply here or email Marcia Jackson at MarciaJ@coj.net for more information.