A day as an emergency medical dispatcher

You work in the emergency medical dispatch centre for your local ambulance service, and today you begin at 2pm on the late afternoon shift. Your role is to take details from 999 call handlers, and decide the best emergency response to send to the scene. Your first call is from someone who has just witnessed a car accident. The passenger in one of the cars appears to be quite badly hurt but the driver is unhurt and is in a very agitated state. After finding out about the location and traffic in the area you radio a nearby ambulance sending incident details direct from your computer and ask paramedics to attend. Because the situation will require investigation and could possibly become volatile you decide to call for the police to attend too. You send out different emergency vehicles throughout the day, and even a paramedic helicopter. You enjoy the important nature of your work, and like playing a key role saving lives every day.

Real-life stories

Tom Davies

Find out more
Careers A-Z

Does this sound like you?

You're calm under pressure, and communicate very well with others. You're good with computers, understand basic medical terms and enjoy working as part of a team.

What's next after GCSE?

You'll need good basic GCSEs (or the equivalent), usually including English, maths and a science subject. Strong computer skills will be required, so consider taking a computer/typing qualification when you leave school.

What's next after A level and beyond?

Although A levels (or the equivalent) aren't essential for this role, demonstrating further education will always be beneficial. Typing skills are usually required, but otherwise training is on the job.