Call Handler - Christchurch

St John

  • Permanent Full Time
  • Canterbury

The St John Ambulance Communications South team are looking for resilient, empathetic and customer focused superstars to join us taking emergency calls as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher - Call Handler, based in the easily accessible and central Justice and Emergency Services Precinct in Christchurch City!

We are looking for people who want a new challenge in their career and are seeking a meaningful and rewarding role where they can contribute to ensuring the best patient outcome, every shift! This role suits a person who shows empathy, has exceptional communication skills and the ability to gather and analyse critical information quickly and accurately.

Take a read through the information provided below to get a better understanding if this is the right role for you! 

Day in the life of a Call Handler:

The role of a Call Handler is an exciting and unique role where your main outcome is to ensure the patient receives the right care at the right time.

What will taking a call be like?

Call Handlers take inbound calls (often sometimes back-to-back), ensure we get the right information from the caller, such as their current location, phone number, and the reason for their call and then, utilizing our internationally accredited triage system you will ask a series of clinical questions to determine the priority of the response required for Dispatch.  Some callers may be given advice and referred to their GP for follow up.

Where a patient requires a response, our Dispatch team (a separate team within the Communication Centre) then dispatches the closest or most appropriate resource. 

At times, you will stay on the call and provide assistance and instructions directed to you while receiving updated information from the caller, for example:

  • Imminent childbirth
  • CPR
  • Bleeding control instruction

Does this sound like you need to have a medical background? Good news, you are not required to have any medical background knowledge as you will undergo an intensive training period to enable you to give initial advice and instruction to callers!

For further information and a video on the role head to our careers page - Click here


You will go through a 10-week training and mentorship program which will be broken down into 5 weeks of classroom training and 5 weeks of mentoring before you are signed off to take solo calls. The training provides the successful candidates with the skills and knowledge to undertake all key aspects of the role, including higher level first aid, prioritising calls, giving telephone advice, and using the computerised triage system. 

Must have skills:

  1. A minimum typing speed of 40 wpm (this will be tested, please use an online platform to test yourself)
  2. Resiliency
  3. Able to analyse critical information quickly
  4. Able to listen, understand and type accurately while under pressure
  5. Empathetic and caring manner with each caller
  6. New Zealand Citizen, Permanent Resident
  7. Ability to work rostered shifts, including day and night shifts over 7 days
  8. Have excellent communication skills in English
  9. Ability to multi-task in a Windows operating environment with multiple screens
  10. Hold a current first aid certificate (or willingness to arrange and get one prior to commencement of training)

 Shift pattern:

You will work an average of 42 hours per week on rostered shifts over a 24/7 pattern of 12-hour shifts - generally two days and two nights followed by four days off. There is the possibility of flexibility with the shift pattern for successful candidates, and potential for part time hours once taking calls solo.  Please discuss these at phone screen or interview stage.

Career development and progression:

To kick start your career with us you will receive the intensive call handler 10-week training and mentoring program, with future opportunities for you to become a mentor, and potential to move into a Dispatcher role with training provided in future. Within the Amb Comms Centre there are other leadership roles if you are interested in career progression such as a Call Handling Team Leader, Duty Centre Manager and the Wider St John...…the opportunities are endless!

Remuneration and benefits:

The full-time starting salary is $53,829 rising to $56,521 when signed off to take calls solo and again to $59,347 at around the one-year mark subject to meeting performance requirements, and ongoing training requirements (which continue throughout your career). This salary is also increased with penal rates due to unsociable hours work while in this role!

 The recruitment process is:

  1. Initial assessment may include a short phone interview - a Recruitment Experience Advisor or someone from the team will give you a quick call
  2. Based on the screening, you may then be asked to attend an information evening to be held which will be held on Wednesday 9th February 2022 or Thursday 10th  of February 2022 from 3:45pm. There will be some preliminary testing on this evening including a typing test, a listening test, and a short 10 min interview. 
  3. Those further shortlisted after the Assessment Centre will be invited to attend a 1-hour panel interview
  4. The next step is a thorough pre-employment checking process including an observation shift, psychometric assessment, and other due diligence including the completion of a health questionnaire, police vetting and reference checking will be conducted over the recruitment process before successful candidates are offered employment

The anticipated commencement date is Monday 28th March 2022. There will be training/mentoring from that start date which will require your full attendance.

Applications close on Midnight Sunday 30th January 2022; Please apply by clicking the "Apply" button

 COVID-19 Vaccinations

All people who are intending to work or volunteer within St John are required to comply with the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 before their commencement date. This means you will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as part of the recruitment process. This applies to all roles in St John.

We welcome and encourage diversity in our workforce and adhere to best practice equal employment opportunity principles as well as commitment to delivering equitable outcomes in all aspects of our recruitment and our ways of working.

Haramai ngā tai o te āniwaniwa, he kāhui rangatira tēnei, he kāhui whakamana tāngata whaimahi, e te iti, e te rahi e

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