Emergency Communications Officer

Answering the call

Often the first point of contact in an emergency situation, Emergency Communications Officers (also known as ECOs) answer and triage Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls, and dispatch EMS personnel.

ECOs collect information about the emergency and location dispatch EMS to help and transport patients to the nearest hospital and provide instructions for callers until EMS arrives.

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$27.91 - $34.61 per hour

Other benefits


Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) with Medical Priority Dispatch (MPD) certification


Not required


  • Answer and triage 911-emergency calls
  • Dispatch the closest, most appropriate EMS for the situation
  • Obtain and record crucial information, like the nature of the emergency and location
  • Determine which hospital the patient should be transported to
  • Coordinate inter-facility transfers
  • Determine where ambulances go after a call, ensuring appropriate coverage of the response area (system status management)

Make a Difference

  • Answer emergency calls
  • Connect patients with the closest appropriate emergency resources
  • Be the calm, authoritative voice on the line in emergency situations
  • Provide verbal instructions to manage the emergency situation until EMS arrives
  • Ensure appropriate emergency coverage for area

Work Collaboratively

  • Communicate directly with patients and emergency callers
  • Work as part of an inter-professional team that includes other ECOs, healthcare professionals, and emergency responders (e.g. fire, police)
  • Provide leadership and work guidance to fellow ECOs, healthcare workers, and students

Grow Your Career

  • Additional training and certification
  • Teaching/training other ECOs and staff
  • Healthcare leadership and management
  • Health system administration

Emergency Communications Officer

Discover More

Your EMS offers a behind the scenes look at the people who provide emergency care, as well as the equipment, tools and programs.

Additional Information

To learn more about a career as an Emergency Communications Officer in our province visit Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS).