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Automotive Body and Glass Repairers

Automotive body and glass repairers restore, refinish, and replace vehicle bodies and frames, windshields, and window glass. Show Details

Duties

Automotive body and glass repairers typically do the following:

  • Review damage reports, prepare cost estimates, and plan work
  • Remove damaged body parts, including bumpers, fenders, hoods, grilles, and trim
  • Realign car frames and chassis to repair structural damage
  • Hammer out or patch dents, dimples, and other minor body damage
  • Fit, attach, and weld replacement parts into place
  • Install and weatherproof windows and windshields
  • Grind, sand, buff, and prime refurbished and repaired surfaces
  • Apply new finish to restored body parts

Automotive body and glass repairers can repair most damage from everyday vehicle collisions and make vehicles look and drive like new. Damage may be minor, such as replacing a cracked windshield, or major, such as replacing an entire door panel.

Repair technicians use many tools for their work. To remove damaged parts, such as bumpers and door panels, they use pneumatic tools, metal-cutting guns, and plasma cutters. For major structural repairs, such as aligning the body, they often use heavy-duty hydraulic jacks and hammers. For some work, they use common handtools, such as metal files, pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers.

In some cases, repair technicians do an entire job by themselves. In other cases, especially in large shops, they use an assembly line approach in which they work as a team with each repair technician specializing.

Although repair technicians sometimes prime and paint repaired parts, automotive painters generally perform these tasks. For more information, see the profile on painting and coating workers.

The following are occupational specialties: 

Automotive body and related repairers, or collision repair technicians, straighten metal panels, remove dents, and replace parts that cannot be fixed. Although they repair all types of vehicles, most work primarily on cars, sport utility vehicles, and small trucks. 

Automotive glass installers and repairers remove and replace broken, cracked, or pitted windshields and window glass. They also weatherproof newly installed windows and windshields with chemical treatments.

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, also called 9-1-1 operators or public safety telecommunicators, answer emergency and non-emergency calls. They take information from the caller and send the appropriate type and number of units. Show Details

Duties

Police, fire and ambulance dispatchers typically do the following:

  • Answer 9-1-1 telephone calls
  • Determine, from the caller, the type of emergency and its location
  • Decide the appropriate emergency response based on agency policies and procedures
  • Relay information to the appropriate emergency or non-emergency service agency or agencies
  • Coordinate sending emergency response personnel 
  • Give over-the-phone medical help and other instructions before emergency personnel get to the scene
  • Monitor and track the status of police, fire, and ambulance units on assignment
  • Synchronize responses with other area communication centers
  • Keep detailed records about calls

Dispatchers answer calls for service when someone needs help from police, fire fighters, emergency services, or a combination of the three. They take both emergency and non-emergency calls.

Dispatchers must stay calm while collecting vital information from callers to determine the severity of a situation. They then give the appropriate first responder agencies information about the call.

Some dispatchers only take calls. Others only use radios to send appropriate personnel. Many dispatchers do both tasks.

Dispatchers keep detailed records about the calls that they take. They may use a computer system to log important facts, such as the name and location of the caller.

They may also use crime databases, maps, and weather reports, when helping emergency response teams. Dispatchers may monitor alarm systems, alerting law enforcement or fire personnel when a crime or fire occurs. In some situations, dispatchers must work with people in other jurisdictions to share information or to transfer calls.

Dispatchers must often give instructions on what to do before responders arrive. Some dispatchers are trained to give medical help over the phone, For example, they might help someone give first aid until emergency medical services get to the scene.

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