Job Description

Public Safety Telecommunicator

General Description

Receives and prioritizes E 9-1-1 and non-emergency telephone calls from the public. Processes information using a computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) system. Dispatches appropriate emergency service agencies such as police, fire and emergency medical units. Monitors public safety units in the field. Retrieves and enters computer data for emergency response personnel within the service area. This general description reflects the concept and intent of this position and should not be construed as a detailed statement of all the work requirements that may be inherent to this position.

Shift Schedule

ECSO operates 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Individual weekly shifts are 4 sequential days of 10-hours each. Our earliest daily shift is 5:00 AM to 3:00 PM and our latest shift is 9 PM to 7 AM with a variety of other options staggered throughout the day. During the initial training months, a new hire must be able to work the same shift as their trainer. After release from training, shift schedules are bid by seniority for 4-month blocks (per our collective bargaining agreement with the dispatchers’ union.)

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Gathering, analyzing, and reporting critical information during life-or-death situations such as crimes in progress, medical emergencies and fire/rescue incidents
  • Administering care by providing pre-arrival medical instructions of directing callers through procedures such as CPR, childbirth, or controlling of blood loss while emergency medical services are enroute
  • Managing communications of emergency personnel responding to incidents and assisting with incident operations during events such as active shooter and officer down responses
  • Taking protective actions for first responders by providing life-safety information during responses such as officer down and MAYDAY calls
  • Analyzing conflicting and/or limited information to direct first responders to the scene
  • Negotiating with suicidal callers or hostage takers
  • Deploying to the scene of planned events, major emergencies, or ongoing incidents
  • Operate a multi-frequency radio and computer-aided dispatch system, access and interpret teletypes, monitor alarms systems, operate playback audio recorders, operate TDD/TTY, operate security devices and other related communication equipment located throughout the Center
  • Must condense large amounts of information into readable, sensibly typed remarks in a timely manner and have the ability to recall numerous acronyms and codes essential to appropriate call processing
  • Work rotating shift work during evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays and must be available to work extended shifts and be subject to emergency callout(s)
  • Must continually demonstrate a high level of mental stability and professionalism
  • Deal with sensitive information in a discreet and professional manner by maintaining confidentiality
  • Maintain a positive customer service attitude at all times with public, user agency members, co-workers and supervisors
  • Make rapid, accurate decisions which affect the outcome of other public safety services
  • Must be reliable and dependable and report for work on a consistent and predictable basis
  • Follow the chain of command per agency policy
  • Must be able to work effectively in a disciplined environment with close supervision and carry out lawful orders according to policies regardless of personal agreement
  • Must be able to handle job stresses
  • Must be able to work effectively with others in the workplace

The above list of duties and responsibilities is not intended to be all-inclusive.  Other duties may be assigned or are not listed.

Work Environment/Conditions

Approximately 90% of duties performed are in a seated position in a secure Communications Center. There is limited opportunity for physical movement. The employee must reach with hands and arms and talk and hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision and ability to adjust focus. Individuals must observe a computer display screen under low lighting conditions for long, uninterrupted periods of time. Individuals must be free from physical impairments that with or without reasonable accommodation would interrupt continuous performance of a shift lasting from a minimum of eight or ten hours. Work up to twelve (12) hours at a time continuously wearing a communications headset that will cover one ear or fit within the ear canal of one ear, and be able to still hear and understand other outside sound sources not coming to the ear piece. Must be prepared to stay in the Center for the full schedule shift. Uninterrupted lunch and other breaks are not guaranteed. Must be able to work shift work encompassing a 24 hour day, seven day week; inclusive of days, evenings, nights, weekends and holidays. Employees may be subject to “call back” on short notice. Work is performed in a confined environment under high stress and plays a critical role in Public Safety delivery. Must take information from callers who may be excited, abusive, foul-mouthed, incoherent, drunk or hysterical.

Other Qualifications

  • Proof of eligibility to work in the United States of America
  • Must be able to successfully satisfy a thorough personal history background check, which will include a criminal history check
  • Must be able to pass a psychiatric test
  • Must be able to pass pre-hire drug testing


Graduation from high school or satisfactory completion of the General Education Degree; knowledge of general office procedures; experience in typing and computer applications; experience in dealing with the public.  Preferred experience in Public Safety Communications.

Ability to act calmly, quickly, and with accuracy in emergency situations on a continual basis and to multi-task complex situations within a short time period; ability to follow moderately complex oral and written instructions and to speak the English language clearly and quickly with a well-modulated voice; ability to spell, punctuate, and write English grammar correctly; ability to read and interpret street and location maps; ability to maintain effective working relationships with employees, Users, associated agencies, and the general public; ability to distinguish and simultaneously hear telephone and multiple radio traffic; ability to quickly read, process, and memorize considerable quantities of information.

Must be able to obtain and keep the following certifications:

  • Oregon DPSST Telecommunicator
  • Oregon DPSST Emergency Medical Dispatcher
  • International Academy of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) EMD Certification
  • First AID/CPR
  • LEDS
  • Pass and Maintain NENA Hearing Standards for Public Safety