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Public Safety Dispatcher


Ideal Candidate:

The Dispatchers work in a team environment 24 hours a day, seven days a week, under the general direction of Dispatch Supervisors. Public Safety Dispatchers require a strong work ethic, strong customer service skills and strong interpersonal skills. Employees at this level receive only occasional instruction or assistance as new or unusual situations arise and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the department.

The Duties:

Dispatchers receive incoming calls for police and fire for a number of local jurisdictions and dispatch necessary units using a computer-aided dispatch system, processing and prioritizing incoming calls for emergency assistance. Dispatchers perform a variety of general support duties related to communications activities. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Perform a variety of general support duties related to communication activities.

• Operate Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) equipment and to enter, update, and retrieve information from teletype networks relating to wanted persons, stolen property, vehicle registration and other information.

• Determine the nature, location, and priority of an emergency; coordinate the response of police, fire, ambulance or other emergency units through CAD data terminals in accordance with established procedures.


Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

A typical way to obtain this would be:

Experience & Training:

Experience:   One year of public safety dispatch experience comparable to that of a Dispatcher in San Mateo County. Experience within the last three years is highly desirable. Bi-lingual skills are desirable.

Training:   Equivalent to graduation from high school.

Knowledge of:

• English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation

• Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) equipment

• Modern office procedures, methods and computer equipment

• Public safety classification codes and computer commands

Ability to:

• Understand and follow written and oral instructions

• Speak clearly and precisely

• Work well under pressure

• Exercise good judgment and make sound decisions in emergency situations

• Assist in training new employees

• Type at a speed necessary for adequate job performance


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