Established: 06/79
Revised: 05/07
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 3



Under close supervision in a training capacity to receive emergency and non-emergency calls; to dispatch law enforcement, fire, medical and other emergency services; and to do other work as required.


The Department of Communications operates the central dispatch center for multiple public safety agencies throughout the County. The center provides 24-hour primary answering and dispatch for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services through an enhanced 9-1-1 telephone system and computer aided dispatch system.

The Communications Dispatcher Trainee is the entry level classification within the Communications Dispatcher series. Incumbents learn and apply division policies and procedures and regulations for responding to requests for emergency assistance. Through instruction and guidance, trainees learn to receive, process and dispatch messages to appropriate law enforcement, fire and emergency medical agencies.

The Communications Dispatcher Trainee differs from the Communications Dispatcher which provides journey-level emergency answering and dispatch services.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Answers 9-1-1 and ten digit emergency and non-emergency telephone lines for law enforcement, fire and medical assistance; collects required information quickly and accurately; enters information onto dispatch computer through keyboard; routes information to appropriate dispatch personnel.
  2. Learns to and operates and monitors two-way radio communications equipment and radio paging systems in order to dispatch law enforcement, fire, medical/E.M.S. and other emergency units; monitors other agencies’ law enforcement and fire radios to coordinate emergency services.
  3. Learns to and determines priorities of calls; gathers and transmits information to assigned field units and determines if follow-up action is necessary.
  4. Provides assistance and reassurance to callers; communicates with callers until responders arrive at scene; learns to and handles emergency and routine requests from law enforcement and fire units; under direction, relays emergency medical and other crisis handling instructions.
  5. Performs checks on persons, vehicles and property; records and transmits computerized information.
  6. Prepares records of events and actions taken; types information into computer system; learns to prepare summaries of activities occurring during each shift.
  7. Maintains good relations with the public and public safety agencies; provides public service information.


Knowledge of: Computerized data retrieval; basic English, spelling, grammar and composition; basic math; recordkeeping techniques.

Skill to: Read and interpret County/City street maps; locate building and street addresses; complete and maintain clear and accurate records; perform constant keyboarding; perform and prioritize multiple simultaneous tasks; function courteously, effectively and with a high degree of accuracy in stressful situations; make prompt and appropriate decisions based on available information; dispatch information accurately to reflect situational detail; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; understand and follow verbal and written instructions; maintain effective working relationships with County staff, public safety agencies and the public.


Ability to meet Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) various preconditions for Dispatcher certification, including but not limited to education and age requirements.

Possession of or ability to obtain within established training timelines currently set at 1300 training hours:

Must be willing to work weekends, holidays and rotating day, evening and night work schedules.

Must successfully pass an extensive background investigation including national fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Employment is contingent upon passing a post-offer physical assessment. Accommodation requests will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.

Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.


Incumbents in the Communication Dispatcher Trainee classification must qualify for and be advanced to the Communications Dispatcher classification within established training timelines currently set at 1300 training hours. Possession of the required knowledge, skills and abilities at the higher level must be documented in an approved promotional evaluation.

Edited: 07/12