Kern County Fire Department looking to hire three emergency dispatchers

People interested in applying have until Nov. 30th

BAKERSFIELD - The job wanted sign is still up at the Kern County Fire Department as leaders look to fill three vacancies.

The job is not for everyone, but if you're someone who can keep calm and even tempered in an emergency situation than the Kern County Fire Department wants you.

The office space is the place where time matters.

"Every day is different.  Every hour is different. Every minute can be different,” said Linda Stevens, who has worked for 15 years as a dispatcher for the Kern County Fire Department

Stevens says she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

"I like the adrenaline rush. I like being challenged to do a good job on a strict guideline and being able to help people in that way," said Stevens.

The emergency communication center is the hub for the Kern County Fire Department.  It’s looking for three new dispatchers who handle all sorts of phone calls from people around the community.

“It is stressful and that's one of things you have to learn to deal with, is stress and how to handle it whether you handle it by exercising or hobbies or however you choose to handle your stress," she said.

Dispatchers answer about twenty calls every five minutes.  There are different ring tones they listen to carefully -- one for non-emergencies and the other for people calling the 911 line.

"They have to be able to get all of the information from that person put it into their computer system and then dispatch fire fighters, ambulance, police, talk to other agencies to coordinate that assistance to that person who is in need at that moment," said Capt. Sean Collins with the Kern County Fire Department.

Fire crews are dispatched over the radio -- the ambulance over the phone and it’s all done in plane talk, which helps dispatchers communicate with better with other agencies. 

"Being an emergency dispatcher is a very, very challenging job, you need to be able to multi-task many things at one time, be on the radio, listen to what callers are saying, being able to contact other people inside the dispatch room at the same time," he said.

People interested in applying to be a dispatcher can do so --online on the kern county website...and you have until November 30th.

Next month, the Bakersfield Fire Department will also have a few open positions.

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