Position Title: Public Safety Telecommunicator I or II (PST I/PST II)
Classification: Non-exempt / Classified
Reports to: Shift Supervisor
Date Job review and updated: April 18, 2019
Wage Level: (PSTI - Grade 1/ Step 1) $17.65 per hour
(PSTII - Grade 11/ Step 1 – Grade 19/ Step 9) $18.09 per hour
Public Safety Telecommunicator
The Regional Emergency Dispatch Authority employment process is as follows:
- Submission of a complete application, which meets all stated criteria for consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered for continuance in the process.
- Attend Applicant Orientation
- Successful completion simulated dispatch exam
- Recommendation of “Move forward” from the 1st Oral Board Committee
- Recommendation of “Hire” from the Executive Administrative Board.
- Successful Background Investigation
- Satisfactory Psychological Examination
- Satisfactory Physical Examination, including drug screening and hearing examination.
The Public Safety Telecommunicator I (PST I) position is a non-certified position. The Public Safety Telecommunicator II (PST II) position for the currently certified public safety telecommunicator. Both have a probationary status of twelve (12) months. During the probationary period, the PST will complete classroom training, to include, but not limited to:
- Public Safety Telecommunicator I (APCO, 7th Ed.)
- Fire Service Communications (APCO 2nd Ed.)
- Emergency Medical Dispatch (APCO 5.2)
- Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Incident Command System Courses, 100, 200, 700 & 800
- Dealing with Diversity & The Impact of Workplace Diversity
- Pipeline Awareness
- CJIS Online Security Training
- Cybersecurity Training and Awareness
- In-house and/or On-The-Job training (the “REDA In-House Training”)
- For PST I - Three (3) weeks of New Mexico Department of Public Safety Certification Academy (out of town Sunday-Friday)
- For PST II - Cert by Waiver through New Mexico Department of Public Safety Certification Academy
*If any of the above course certifications are current and held by the applicant at the time of application, they will be accepted and that course waived.
PST I position focuses on training as new hires to work as PST II’s, providing the full range of call taking and dispatching functions for law enforcement, fire and medical emergency calls, as well as certain non-emergency functions.
PST II positions focus on learning REDA systems, service agencies and obtaining all required training and certification as is mandated by the department, the state of New Mexico or the federal government. PST II’s provide the full range of call- taking and dispatching functions for law enforcement, fire and medical emergency calls, as well as certain non-emergency functions.
PST I - The Public Safety Telecommunicator I is a training level intended for individuals with little or no comparable public safety dispatching experience. A PST I who successfully passes the training program and probationary period, and successfully completes the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Academy will be promoted to PST II upon REDA’s receipt of the certification, which is the full-working level.
PST II - Although this position is for candidates currently holding public safety telecommunications certification (state or federal), there will be mandatory training for REDA’s systems, procedures, protocols, and policies. That being understood, the PST II should exhibit those characteristics typically held by a veteran dispatcher; good customer service, professionalism, call-processing, confidentiality, integrity, teamwork, basic radio etiquette, understanding the vital need of accurate paperwork, research, and relay of information requested from the field. Basic operational knowledge of NCIC and basic understanding of its purpose.
Under close direct supervision, Public Safety Telecommunicator receives extensive classroom training, on-the-job instruction, and hands-on training in call-taking and dispatching of public safety personnel and equipment for law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical and other services. Throughout training, trainees are expected to show progressive growth and ability to apply complex rules, procedures, and policies to all work situations, in accordance with REDA’s PST training program. At the end of training and probation, trainees must demonstrate and maintain working competence in the full range of law enforcement, fire, and medical call-taking and dispatching functions.
Essential Job Functions
- Receive and transmit telephone and radio emergency calls, as well as non-emergency calls and complaints or inquiries from the public
- Assess and appropriately respond to a caller’s emotional state
- Evaluated and prioritize calls based on urgency
- Determine the correct jurisdiction, equipment, and personnel to be dispatched
- Dispatch appropriate law, fire or emergency response personnel
- Respond to requests from emergency response personnel
- Operate two-way radios, multi-line phone and teletype systems, computers, data communications terminals and other complex communications equipment to quickly and correctly access information and respond to requests from police, fire, and EMS
- Record the nature and source of incoming and outgoing radio and telephone messages
- Study and maintain familiarity with major roads, streets, industrial plants and buildings
- Monitor multiple public safety frequencies
- Perform other related tasks and duties as assigned
- At least 18 years of age at the time of hire
- Possess a High School diploma or GED Certificate of Completion
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Possess current registration and proof of insurance on the vehicle (IF YOU WILL BE DRIVING ONTO POST)
- Able to legally work in the United States
- Have no felony convictions
- Have no Marijuana use in the last twelve (12) months and no other illegal drug use in the past thirty-six (36) months.
- Uncertified dispatchers must become state-certified within one year of hire, exceptions may be made due to scheduling conflicts at the NM DPS Telecommunications Academy.
- For PST II - Current NM DPS Certification (Or State Certification that meets NM DPS Reciprocity / Cert by Waver)
- Successfully complete all recruitment and selection components including, but not limited to, skills testing, oral board interviews, detailed background investigation, and the required post-offer processes: drug screen, physical and psychological evaluation.
Any combination of qualifications and work experience that demonstrates an applicant has the necessary knowledge, skills, ability, and character to successfully perform the job will be considered.
Public Safety Telecommunicator must either possess or gain the following during the course of the PST training program and through the probationary period:
- Current techniques, policies, and procedures of public safety call-taking and dispatching
- Eddy County geography, including locations and boundaries of all cities and townships, locations of major highways, streets and key buildings and landmarks, and addressing systems used for each jurisdiction
- Perform extensive data entry and data retrieval form visual and/or audio sources
- Understand and execute complex oral and written instructions
- Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal communication skills for public safety call-taking and dispatching
- React quickly and correctly to emergency situations, and adopt an effective course of action
- Learn and correctly apply detailed procedures and policies both in structured situations, such as emergency medical dispatch (EMD) and in non-routine situations that require independent judgment, critical thinking, and applications of complex and varied procedures and policies, such as law enforcement dispatching
- Learn, retain and use knowledge of Eddy County geography in the course of work
- Operate computerized equipment including computer-aided dispatch (CAD), enhanced 911 (ANI/ALI), and other forms of public safety technology
- Received and accept regular feedback and constructive criticism without being defensive
- Dispatch public safety personnel and equipment safely, quickly and efficiently
- Relay messages exactly as received
- React quickly and calmly in emergency situations and adopt effective courses of action
- Perform call taking and dispatching work by phone, radio and using other standard communications center equipment
- Assess callers’ emotional state, respond correctly to emergency and routine situations
- Prioritize calls based on urgency
- Apply appropriate initiative, discretion, and judgment in the work
- Apply available guidelines, policies or procedures in diverse situations
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with the public, coworkers, supervisors and managers, user agency stakeholders, and officials from other jurisdictions, department or agencies
- Perform work under stressful or emotional conditions
- Work any assigned shift, including day, swing, or graveyard and work all days of the week including weekends and holidays
- Work under pressure in a loud, multi-tasking environment
- Work mandatory overtime as needed and assigned
- Have reliable and predictable attendance
Work Environment (Essential Functions)
Work is performed in an indoor, open-space environment and stationary setting. Incumbents work with and are surrounded by computerized control panels that require detailed dexterity. The majority of time is spent in a seated position; however, dispatchers have the freedom to stand and move in a limited area, primarily that of the cordless reception area of the headset. Headsets are worn at all times while on duty on the operations floor. Incumbents are expected to manage over the phone interactions and confrontations with angry, hostile, depressed and/or otherwise emotionally distraught members of the public. As a result, work requires quick, independent action and alertness in emergency and possibly life-threatening situations. Work entails extensive keyboarding and manual dexterity, and also entails regular reaching, stretching, and lifting of standard dispatch supplies and materials, such as maps, binders, and flip charts.
Physical Demands typically involve, but are not limited to:
Hearing and Speaking
- Hear, understand and respond to verbal information in person, by phone and by radio, including difficult to understand callers
- Speak clearly and concisely in English
- Hear, understand and respond using radio transmitters and receivers, radio consoles, telephone/radio headsets, multi-line telephones systems, and complex communications equipment
Seeing and reading
- See, read and understand written information and instructions in all forms, including handwritten, hard copy or electronic communications formats
- See and use all related communications equipment including radio transmitters and receivers, radio consoles, telephone/radio headsets, multi-line telephone systems, lease line teletypes, computer consoles, and data communications terminals
- See color differentiation as necessary to distinguish color variations on maps, computer screens, and radio consoles
Mental acuity and alertness
- Understand, respond to, and apply complex concepts, information, and instructions including policies, procedures, laws, and regulations
- Engage in frequent interpersonal interactions that are stressful or sensitive in nature
- Handle difficult interpersonal interactions and complaints with tact and diplomacy
- Manage and accomplish multiple priorities and diverse responsibilities with a high level of accuracy
- Think and apply judgment, discretion, and initiative in accomplishing work
- Work effectively despite sleep pattern disruptions as a result of rotational and/or irregular shift work and overtime
Manual dexterity and typing
- Extensive use of computers, keyboards, office equipment and similar specialized technical and electronic equipment commonly found in communication centers
- Performing multiple tasks requiring manual dexterity at the same time
- Write legibly
- Sit for extended periods of time; stand or walk as necessary
- Sit for extended periods of time particularly during high-stress situations
- Stretch, reach, or lift objects or materials that may be up to 50 pounds in weight