CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 362
Established: 4/08
FLSA: Non-exempt
EEO: 3

COMMUNICATIONS CALL TAKER

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under supervision, to receive emergency and non-emergency calls; maintain logs and records in a central dispatch center characterized by multiple users and wide geographic scope; to operate computer devices designed to retrieve and store information; to refer a variety of telephone inquires to appropriate services or sources within the County and to provide other public service information; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

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 Call Taker receives calls for service from the public and C-COM user agencies (Law, Fire, & Medical). The Communications Call Taker handles calls according to priority and established policy and protocol.

The Communications Call Taker differs from the Communications Dispatcher Trainee which is a training position to learn call taking and dispatching skills. Communications Dispatcher Trainees who complete training in Call taking, Law Dispatch, and Fire/Medical dispatch promote to Dispatcher 1, the journey level dispatching classification. Communications Call Takers do not dispatch, but may enter or re-enter training for dispatching on an approved schedule based on department needs. The Communications Call Taker classification is also distinguished from the Dispatcher classifications (Trainee, D1 and Shift Leader) by a different seniority group and vacation bid group.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Receives requests for law, fire and EMS services by phone; questions caller to gather data concerning the nature of the call; determines if the call must be handled by law, fire or EMS service; determines priority of the call; enters call for services to be dispatched.
  2. Receives telephone call reporting incidents not requiring dispatch of field units; speaks with callers to determine the nature of the incident and refers or transfers callers appropriately.
  3. Operate computer aided dispatching computer workstation and VESTA telephone computer workstation during call taking and call entry for dispatch.
  4. Attend regular training in dispatch skills to maintain understanding of dispatch needs in order to effectively gather call information.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Knowledge of: Computerized data retrieval; Basic English, spelling, grammar and composition; basic math; recordkeeping techniques; knowledge of theories, practices and techniques of human behavior.

Skill to: Speak, understand and write English clearly, concisely and accurately; operate computer terminals and a keyboard to transcribe simultaneous oral communications and/or handwritten copy; communicate tactfully, compassionately and effectively with a variety of people including those who are experiencing extreme emotional upset, who may have cognitive difficulty, or who may be under the influence of mind-altering substances; use street maps and computer mapping systems to locate addresses, streets and block numbers; compare and check numerical and alphabetical sequences for accuracy; use computers and Windows based operating systems; take information from multiple sources regarding an ongoing situation and produce an accurate narrative with key elements and facts; listen and/or give instructions while quickly and accurately entering information using a keyboard; remember and accurately transcribe spoken information including names, addresses, sequences of letters and numbers, descriptions and directions; prioritize tasks, adjust priorities and remain focused when the number and variety of tasks change or when faced with situations that may be upsetting; establish and maintain effective working relationships with County staff, public safety agencies and the public.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

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 400 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.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

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

OTHER INFORMATION

Incumbents must successfully complete the Communications Call Taker training program within established training timelines.