City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385
http://www.juneau.org

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Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"


Q. I am doing my sit along tomorrow and have prepared a list of questions to ask.....is there anything I should ask that you feel is important? I want to be as detailed as possible so I can gather as much info as possible. Thanks!


Dear Juneau Resident,

A sit-a-long in dispatch is a very eye opening experience for lots of people. I applaud you wanting to prepared for the experience but you might want to write down just a few high points while keeping an open mind. Then just watch and listen. You will want to have something to write on so you can keep track of a question that occurs to you and the dispatcher might go long periods not being able to talk to you while they handle calls. Daily business type conversations in dispatch are sometimes half a sentence at a time because someone has to answer the phone or radio.

I would encourage anyone applying for dispatch to do a sit-a-long in the communications unit. The pace and variety of activity is something people find surprising. They are imagining something like a catalog call center humming along with the low murmuring of voices. The atmosphere is actually more like a hospital emegency room with lots of people doing important things and having to block out distractions unless the distraction is relevant to what the dispatcher is doing. It is quite the process to observe.



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