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Call-taking and dispatch


Call-takers receive and process all emergency and non-emergency calls from the public and other agencies. Their role is to quickly and thoroughly process calls so that the appropriate response can be provided as effectively as possible. This is achieved by:

  • obtaining all the information required by following a standard sequence of questions
  • verifying the event location and accurately identifying it on a mapping system
  • accurately entering all relevant information received into the ESTA Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system for use by a dispatcher, and
  • processing updates and further information as the event or incident progresses.


Dispatchers use the information obtained and recorded by the call-taker to dispatch emergency resources.  They use a sophisticated mix of technologies including computers, telephony and radio. Dispatchers are responsible for co-ordinating an appropriate response by:

  • managing and processing event information
  • evaluating and prioritising emergency events
  • identifying the required response, and
  • dispatching police, fire or ambulance resources

Inherent requirements

The operational roles within the State Emergency Communications Centres are highly specialised and require a particular mix of skills, knowledge and abilities to ensure the work is performed competently. The inherent requirements for call-taking and dispatch roles are outlined in more detail in the  ESTA call-taker applicant information kit.pdf PDF icon ESTA call-taker applicant information kit.pdf (2.33 MB)