Meadbh tells us how their years of customer service experience could be applied to their role as a Control Room Operative with An Garda Síochána and some of the opportunities this role has provided them.

Please tell us a little bit about your role.

As Control Room Operatives we are the public’s first point of contact with An Garda Síochána. It is our job to gather all the relevant information about the incidents that are being reported. We then enter that into the GardaSafe system, so that the Units being dispatched know what is happening at a call before they get there.

Due to the nature of the role we are often talking to people when they are having a bad day, in some cases the worst day of their lives. It is imperative that while showing empathy to callers we are professional and objective so that we can be part of the solution for the person. This can be very challenging, especially with victims of serious crime, but in order to provide assistance we must help people cut through the noise and relay the facts as they are, in order to provide the best response.

What were your reasons for applying for your role?

The role of call operative really appealed to me because I wanted to work in a job which had a positive impact on people. I had years of customer service experience, and I felt the skills I had acquired would make me a suitable candidate.

What do you value most about your job?

Making a positive impact on people who are possibly having the worst day of their life. It is rewarding to be able to take control of a situation and gather information in a way that lends to having a positive impact on the outcome of an emergency situation.

What are some of the benefits and supports available to you?

Working on a 4 on and 4 off shift pattern allows for a lot of flexibility in your personal life. You have a lot of time off which allows you to pursue your interests outside of work. The employee assistance service supports and assists all personnel in managing and resolving work and personal difficulties from an early stage to maintain good health and wellbeing. Peer support within the office environment is a great benefit when commencing the role and throughout your career.

What opportunities has this role provided for you?

I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn and use new IT systems while developing my interpersonal skills to deal with difficult calls and help people in the moment of need.

What has surprised you since starting this role?

The important role An Garda Síochána play in dealing with all sorts of emergency situations including both ambulance and fire brigade as well as people’s health and wellbeing.

What aspect of the role do you particularly enjoy?

I like the variety of the job and how no two days are the same.

Would you recommend a career in the public sector and why?

Yes I would recommend a job with An Garda Síochána. The team you work with, the benefits of the job and the career opportunities that it presents.