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  • 911 Dispatch - Public Safety Communications Officer

    Posted: 08/05/2021

    Must apply online at www.fcva.us/jobs!
    Do you want to make a difference in your community? Would you find it rewarding to be a crucial link in the Public Safety chain? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you may be a good fit for the Frederick County Department of Public Safety Communications. Communications work is difficult but rewarding, allowing employees to truly make a difference in the lives of fellow citizens.

    You will receive extensive paid training to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for this important role. You will answer 9-1-1 emergency and other calls from the community as well as dispatching Fire/Rescue and Sheriffs' department resources. This position requires a combination of public service commitment and strong technical skills that can be learned on the job during the training period.

    In addition to our comprehensive paid training program, benefits include full health and dental benefits, paid life insurances, Virginia Retirement System retirement plans, and paid time off. Opportunities are available to advance to Communications Officer II, III and Emergency Communications Supervisor.

    • Answer 9-1-1 and non-emergency phone lines for the Frederick County Department of Public Safety Communications;
    • Operates a sophisticated work station comprised of multiple computer systems including 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency telephone system, geographical mapping tools (GIS and aerial photography), Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and other repositories of critical information, to answer, triage and process incoming;
    • Emergency and non-emergency calls for service from the general public and other public safety agencies;
    • During a life -threatening emergency, establishes communications with the caller, provide safety/life saving instructions and maintains control of the conversations until units arrive on the scene;
    • Interacts with callers who may be injured, distressed, distraught and/or emotional;
    • Communicate with public safety field personnel on the telephone and radio to accurately communicate information and instructions in all situations;
    • Broadcast calls for service to police/fire/rescue;
    • Monitor the calls and update personnel of any changes until the call for service is cleared; and,
    • Accurately enter and clear stolen vehicles, articles, wanted persons, protective orders, missing persons and guns.

    High School graduation or possession of GED issued by a state department of education. 

    Previous work experience in an emergency communications center preferred but not required.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

    • Ability to operate complex computerized equipment accurately and rapidly;
    • Ability to read maps as well as a general knowledge of the County's geographical area, road systems and landmarks;
    • Must be an action-oriented team player who thrives on adrenaline-inducing situations;
    • Ability to speak distinctly in an effort to communicate in a clear and effective manner;
    • Ability to hear and distinguish between several voices at the same time while acquiring and retaining information such as names, numbers and addresses;
    • Ability to interact courteously with the public under stressful conditions, including irate persons and emotional situations; and,
    • Skilled in multi-tasking, working under pressure of deadlines, and establishing and maintaining cooperative working relationships with employees, officials, other agencies and the general public.
    • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application; and,
    • Candidates must successfully complete all portions of pre-employment screens such as but not limited to written exams, criminal background screen, Polygraph and physical examination.

    Training Period
    Within six months from the date of hire, a new Communication Officer must complete  a training program to include in-house training, CPR, EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch), Basic Communications Officer Academy and VCIN/NCIC (VA Criminal Information Network, National Crime Information Center) certification.

    Physical Demands

    The incumbent must be capable of communicating verbally and in writing; Walking, talking, writing, typing, stooping, kneeling, bending, reaching, sitting and gripping for long periods of time; Incumbent may be required on occasion to perform light lifting up to 30 lbs. (boxes, files, etc.) as necessary; and, Ability to work irregular shifts (including holidays and inclement weather days) may be periodically necessary.

    Automatic Disqualifiers

    • Past or current gang affiliation;
    • Dishonorable discharge from any military service;
    • Untruthfulness and/or the intentional withholding of information on any application, interview, or paperwork associated with the position. Examples of intentional withholding of information would include deliberate inaccuracies and/or incomplete statements.
    This is not intended to be an exhaustive listing of background disqualifiers. Applicants who are successful in the initial testing will undergo a thorough background investigation, including polygraph examination. Areas of concern will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis within the context of the full investigation/review. Examples of areas of concern may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Reduction of charges as a result of a plea agreement or other form of sentencing disposition prior to a conviction in any of the aforementioned criminal history category;
    • Crimes committed as a juvenile, including undetected crime;
    • Patterns of reckless and/or irresponsible driving;
    • Illegal drug use or possession that does not fall within the parameters defined in the County's HR Policy, including the use or possession of prescription drugs without a proper prescription. Illegal drug is defined as set forth in the Federal Controlled Substance Act, 21 U.S.C. §800 et al. and by the Code of Virginia;
    • Less than honorable military discharge, erratic work record, or unfavorable employment references;
    • Pending litigation or prosecution for criminal offenses must be resolved prior to consideration for employment;
    • Some minor offenses are classified as Class 1 misdemeanors (e.g. littering) but would not result in automatic disqualification. Convictions of this nature would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in the context of the full investigation/review.
    All positions are subject to a criminal background and driving record check for any convictions that relate to the job duties and responsibilities.

    The County's EEO Utilization Report has been available at www.fcva.us/jobs.


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