Job openings

We’re now hiring Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMDs) in the following locations.

24/7 Operations Centres

  • Cairns
  • Townsville
  • Rockhampton
  • Toowoomba
  • Brisbane (Kedron)
  • Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore)
  • Gold Coast (Southport)

Patient Transport Service (Monday to Friday)

  • Brisbane (Spring Hill)

Working as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher

Our Emergency Medical Dispatchers are the first point of contact for people who need ambulance services.

Our EMDs:

  • take emergency calls from people who ring Triple Zero (000)
  • send out ambulances and staff to help patients
  • give advice and support before an ambulance arrives
  • arrange non-urgent patient transport.

You’ll also record call details and organise resources so we can get help to the people who need it most.

Read the role description [PDF 306.69 KB] to learn more about the work you’ll do as an EMD.

EMDs Ethan, Elaina and Bel talk about the EMD role

Recorded call:
"Ambulance? What is the town or suburb of your emergency?"

EMD Ethan: EMD is not just a job. It is a career.

Recorded call:
"Paramedics are on the way. We're just going to do a quick test..."

EMD Ethan: I really do like the idea of community health, and I like the idea of helping people.

And this job really allows you to do that as a career.

EMD Elaina: I always knew that I wanted to help people, but I didn't really know what pathway that was. As soon as I stepped forward, I just knew that this probably will be where I will be forever.

A good shift in the operation center definitely starts with the team. You see these people more than you see your friends and family at some times, so they become your friends and family.

EMD Bel: So, support-wise, QAS I think we're the leader really in emergency services, with the type of support that we've got.

Recorded call: "Tell me exactly what's happened."

EMD Elaina: You have seven weeks at the training center here in Woolloongabba. You then come into the OpsCen and have 16 mentored shifts with a call taking mentor so you know, not on your own then.

So you are fully supported all of the time and you get all of the training for the certificate three and four in ambulance.

So you don't need any pre existing certificates, you just need to have the right attitude.

EMD Ethan: there are certain traits you need to possess, most of which stem from the idea of just being kind, caring and empathetic, as well as you're dealing with a broad spectrum of people. So, you know, proper communication skills, patience.

EMD Bel: You know, you get to talk to people on the worst day of their life, and it is such a privilege. So you need to be genuinely passionate about helping those people.

The shifts are 12 hours or 10 hour shifts.

Being able to type quite quickly will be a lifesaver for you, active listening, care, attention to detail...

EMD Elaina: We have a specific script that helps us give the best information in the best instructions possible.

EMD Ethan: Its a consistent workload being part of 000. So it doesn't really stop. And then at the end of it, you feel quite rewarded. Having done your 12 hours,

It's one of those jobs that once you walk out the door, you generally can, you know, take a weight off your shoulders.

EMD Bel: Surprisingly enough, I actually get to spend more time with my family than I did when I worked a 9 to 5 job.

In terms of career opportunities, there's so many avenues you can move into:

EMD Ethan:
- Retrieval Services Queensland, our aeromedical services,
- Become a mentor
- Become a peer support officers. And you've got the ability to teach others and provide that leadership almost.
- There's supervising opportunities.
- And then you can span that as well to all the different technical services that are behind the scenes. Frontline services group to our I.T. and computer-based services.

So there's a lot of different routes you can go beyond just an EMD.

EMD Elaina: This job is so unique. There is nothing else like it. There is no adrenaline rush like this job.

Recorded call: "Ok so it's your daughter and she's had a seizure?
Is she a diabetic? And are you with her at the moment?"

EMD Ethan: I love being an EMD.

The job is very rewarding in what we do. But part of that reward comes from the fact that a lot of the things we deal with are confronting.

People aren't calling because they're having a great day, they're calling because they're in crisis.

You need to be prepared, having to face what are quite emotional, quite heightened and quite elevated situations.

EMD Bel: And if you want to help people and have a desire not just care for your patients, but also for the team around you, that's the driver.

EMD Elaina: You can be there for someone's the best day of their life or give instructions to them on the worst day of their life. And to be a part of someone's life in that way is such a privilege. And I have such a passion for it, and so does everyone one else in that room. And that's why we keep coming back.

My most memorable call

Recorded call:
EMD: "Ambulance. What's the town or suburb of the emergency?"

EMD Elaina:
My most memorable call is definitely when I delivered a baby on New Year's Eve and I actually got to meet that baby and the family...

Recorded call:
EMD: "What is the emergency?"
Caller: "My wife's going to labor."
EMD: "Get into the most comfortable position. Have a deep breath between those contractions."

EMD Elaina: Heads presenting, heads out, shoulders out. Freaking out. I'm trying to read the instructions, but also trying to keep up with what he's saying.

It was the most memorable part of my career.

I've delivered four other babies since then. You can think about, oh wow, I had a part of this person's journey, this person's life, and I will always remember it.

EMD Bel: The most rewarding call, it was actually Christmas Day a few years ago, a young man called me, and I'll never forget, he said to me, I just saved my dad's life. And I said, Mate, you absolutely did. Merry Christmas.

Not only did that young man save his dad's life and give him a chance to continue to be a dad, but I played a part in that.

Like what a privilege.

At the time you might think, that's such a negative thing. But the positive of helping someone and being able to talk them through a traumatic situation like that, the lasting emotion is, I'm so proud.

EMD Ethan: Sometimes I think the most memorable calls are not necessarily the most traumatic, but it's really the calls that people are most thankful for.

One of the calls that I had it was a mother and she was calling for her toddler who'd had a fall. The child themselves wasn't dramatically injured and he had a laceration to his head.

Just to be able to provide that reassurance, once we could bring that bleeding under control, the amount of calm and just you could feel it sweep over the phone, how much calmer she was. And just the thankfulness, the relief. That relief is what sticks with you

I love being an EMD.

EMD Ethan taking a call:
"All right. Thank you for that. And just a few quick questions for me."

EMD Elaina: This job is so unique. There is nothing else like it. There is no adrenaline rush like this job. This probably will be where I will be forever.

EMD Bel: You get to talk to people on the worst day of their life, and it is such a privilege

So you need to be genuinely passionate about helping those people.

EMD Ethan: EMD is not just a job. It is a career.

How to apply

You can apply online when we advertise roles by filling in our Emergency Medical Dispatcher application form.

Read our information guide [PDF 2822.28 KB] and applicant information kit [PDF 476.52 KB] to learn more.

Apply now

Who can apply

Being an EMD can be demanding. You’ll be speaking to distressed callers, and you may need to do several technical tasks at the same time.

Before you apply, check you’re suited to the role. You don’t need experience, but you need to show us that you meet the following criteria in your application.

You work well under stress

You must be able to:

  • communicate well in stressful situations, with empathy, calmness and leadership
  • type 40 words per minute with 95% accuracy
  • record incident details quickly and accurately, using electronic systems and programs
  • work 12 hour day and night shifts on weekdays, weekends and public holidays, on a 4 day rotating roster.

You can legally work in Australia

You must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen to apply. You can also apply if you have a valid permanent work visa.

You have first aid qualifications

You must have the following current first aid qualifications.

  • Provide first Aid (HLTAID011)
  • Provide cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (HLTAID009)

Read more about first aid courses on the Queensland Government website.

You’re fit and healthy, and have all your vaccinations

Check that you meet our medical standards for Emergency Medical Dispatchers [PDF 166.05 KB] before you apply.

You’re willing to do more training

We’ll pay for you to do these courses as part of your employment.

  • Certificate III in Ambulance Communications (Call-taking)
  • Certificate IV in Ambulance Communications (Dispatch)

After you apply

We’ll meet you for an interview if your application is successful. We usually check your references, qualifications and criminal history. You might also do aptitude or psychometric tests.

Learn more about our working for us.

Contact us

For more information email our recruitment team at QAS.Recruitment@ambulance.qld.gov.au.

Make the move to Queensland

Move to Queensland from interstate or overseas to take up permanent employment in a frontline role with us and get:

  • a $10,000 payment (less tax) when you start
  • another $10,000 (less tax) after 12 months of continuous service.

Read more about attraction incentives.

Last updated: July 2024