How to Become a 000 Operator In Queensland (Nail Your Application)

Last Updated, 3 June 2024
Written by <a href="" target="_self">Nicole Wren</a>

Written by Nicole Wren

asian woman in a call centre looking at a computer screen

How to Become a 000 Operator In Queensland (Nail Your Application)

by | Jun 3, 2024 | Writing Advice

A 000 Operator is also known as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD). Employed by the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), EMDs play a crucial role in emergency response. Here’s a step-by-step guide through the process of how to become a 000 Operator in Queensland, highlighting the application steps and providing application tips and answering key questions about this career.

What Does an EMD Do?

An Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) is responsible for handling emergency calls, assessing the situation, and dispatching the appropriate medical response.

There are two very different aspects to the EMD role:

  1. Call Taker: Answering 000 calls and recording details of the emergency whilst speaking with potentially highly emotive callers.
  2. Dispatcher: Prioritising and allocating finite QAS resources.

What Hours Do EMDs Work?

Emergency Medical Dispatchers work 38 hours per week on a rotating shift basis with the shifts predominantly being 12 hours in length. Rosters will reflect an average of 40 hours per week. The additional two hours per week (known as accrued time) will be accumulated and taken in pre-approved scheduled blocks.

Generally, EMDs in Queensland will work two twelve-hour days then two twelve-hour nights, followed by four days off. Each Operations Centre is different.

How Much Does an EMD Make in Australia?

An EMD with the QAS will earn between $64,180 – $85,547 per annum, depending on their level (levels 1-8).

What Skills Do I Need to be an EMD in Queensland?

Although call centre/emergency services and/or community services experience is preferred, it is not essential to perform the role as on the job training is provided.

To be eligible for the EMD role, you must be able to:

  • type 40 words per minute with 95 per cent accuracy
  • work nights, weekends and public holidays working 12 hour shifts on a four (4) day rotating roster
  • hold a First Aid qualification (HLTAID011) or be willing to obtain this
  • hold a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation qualification (HLTAID009) or be willing to obtain this
  • complete a Certificate III in Ambulance Communications (Call taking) and a Certificate IV in Ambulance Communications (Dispatch) on the job, which is supported and paid for by QAS
  • be a permanent resident or Citizen of Australia/New Zealand or hold full rights to work in Australia
  • possess sound skills in using IT systems
  • provide consent for the QAS to conduct a criminal history check
  • undertake relevant medical, psychometric and aptitude assessments

Steps to Become an 000 Operator in Queensland

If you’re ready to embark on the journey to becoming a 000 operator in QLD, here are the key steps you need to follow:

1. Complete the QAS Online Form

When recruitment is open, you’ll find the online application form on the QAS website. The application form requires details including your location preferences, details of your referees and basic eligibility information.

2. Prepare Your Resume

Your resume should highlight your relevant skills and experiences. Emphasise any previous experience in emergency services, customer service, or roles that required quick decision-making and effective communication.

Your resume should include a comprehensive employment history, dates of employment, responsibilities, major achievements or awards, education and training, tertiary qualifications and list any professional memberships.

3. Provide Responses to the Behavioural and Job Expectations Questionnaire

You will need to respond to a number of screening questions which will involve answering in detail a range of questions about yourself, the role and why you would be a suitable applicant.

You should prepare 1-2 paragraphs per question. You should use the STAR method to structure your responses (i.e. Situation, Task, Action and Result).

We are experts in preparing QAS EMD application responses and can work with you to develop and hone your responses. Contact us for a quote.

The questions include:

Please provide a detailed response on how you will arrange your time around the roster, including managing the many other activities you currently undertake. (e.g. study, family, sporting commitments, hobbies, socialising)“.

In your response, highlight your time management skills by explaining how you prioritise tasks and plan your week or month in advance, incorporating work shifts, study, family time, and other commitments. Describe how you allocate specific times for coursework, manage family responsibilities, and integrate sporting activities or hobbies into your schedule. Emphasise the importance of maintaining a social life and how you plan social activities around your work schedule. Show your flexibility and ability to adapt to unexpected changes in your roster, providing examples from past experiences. Reiterate your commitment to the role and willingness to make necessary adjustments, and highlight any support systems you have in place to assist with responsibilities when needed.

“What attracted you to apply for the EMD role and why are you applying at this point in your career?”

When responding to the question, focus on your motivation and timing. Explain your passion for helping others and how the EMD role aligns with your values and career goals. Highlight any relevant experiences or skills that have prepared you for this role and discuss your interest in working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment where you can make a tangible difference. Address why now is the right time in your career, whether it’s due to having gained the necessary experience, seeking a new challenge, or feeling ready to contribute more meaningfully to your community. Emphasise your commitment to the role and your enthusiasm for joining the Queensland Ambulance Service.

“What aspects of your working background, life experiences and character make you suitable for the EMD role?”

This question requires a focus on relevant skills and experiences. Discuss any previous work in customer service, emergency response, or high-pressure environments, emphasising your ability to remain calm and make quick decisions. Mention specific life experiences that have equipped you with strong communication and problem-solving skills. Highlight character traits such as empathy, resilience, and a strong sense of responsibility. Provide examples that demonstrate your dedication, teamwork, and ability to handle stressful situations effectively, showing how these qualities make you an ideal candidate for the EMD role.

“In the dispatch component of the role, our EMDs need to think tactically and can make time critical decisions with limited information and resources. Our EMDs require attention to detail in a technical environment and the ability to multitask under pressure. Considering the above, what technical skills will you bring to this role?”

For this question, highlight your proficiency with computer systems, including data entry, and any experience with dispatch software or other technical tools. Emphasise your attention to detail and accuracy in handling information. Discuss your ability to stay organised and focused in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, providing examples from your previous work or life experiences where you successfully managed multiple tasks simultaneously. Mention any training or certifications that are relevant, and showcase your problem-solving skills and ability to quickly adapt to new technologies and procedures.

“The calls we receive range from ‘run of the mill’, every day calls through to highly emotive, confronting calls which can have an emotional impact on our EMDs. Overall given what you know about the EMD role, what do you think will be the main challenges for you? Drawing on a past workplace experience, what strategies will you put in place to manage the challenge you noted above?”

When responding to the question, acknowledge that handling highly emotive and confronting calls can be challenging and describe how you plan to manage the emotional impact. Drawing on a past workplace experience, provide an example where you faced a similar challenge and outline the strategies you used to cope. These might include stress management techniques such as regular breaks, mindfulness, seeking support from colleagues or a mentor, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Emphasise your resilience, emotional intelligence, and ability to stay calm under pressure, highlighting your commitment to delivering high-quality service despite the challenges.

We are experts in preparing QAS EMD application responses and can work with you to develop and hone your responses. Contact us for a quote.

4. Prepare for Assessments and Interviews

If your application is successful, you will be invited to participate in a series of assessments, which may include: typing tests and psychometric assessments, assessment centre attendance and medical assessment. These assessments will be facilitated by a QAS approved provider and are designed to identify candidate’s key behavioural and personality traits, including their emotional resilience, ability to work in a team and manage change, their effectiveness, adaptability and understanding of the critical job demands. From there, you may be offered a position and commence training for the role.

Becoming a 000 operator in Queensland can be a a fulfilling career, but the application process can be rigorous. By following these steps and preparing thoroughly, you can increase your chances of securing a position as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher with QAS.

As a resume writer, I encourage you to tailor your application to highlight your relevant skills and experiences, ensuring you stand out in the competitive selection process. As always, we are on hand to assist with your application if you require it. Good luck!

Nicole Wren

Nicole Wren

Senior Writer

Nicole is the principal resume writer at Resumes to Impress. Nicole loves writing and sharing her knowledge about all things job hunting and career guidance.

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