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Public Safety Communicator I

Fairfax County Government
Fairfax, Virginia
$48,968.19 - $83,753.28 Annually
Closing date
Oct 7, 2023

Job Details

Job Announcement

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 answered yes to these questions, then you may be a good fit for Fairfax County's Department of Public Safety Communications (DPSC).

DPSC, also known as Fairfax County 9-1-1, is a nationally recognized public safety communications agency and we are searching for new team members. DPSC is the largest 9-1-1 Center in the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the ten largest in the United States, as well as being one of the most technologically advanced 9-1-1 centers in the United States. As essential staff members of the agency, Public Safety Communicators (PSCs) are the first people that a caller interacts when reporting emergencies in Fairfax County.

Our PSCs receive extensive paid training to gain the knowledge, skills and abilities that will allow them to be independent decision makers while adhering to established policies and procedures. Through continued training, PSC I's have the opportunity to advance to the higher PSC II and PSC III skill sets. From their training, our PSC’s are able to:

  • Answer 9-1-1 emergency and other calls from the community as well as dispatching police, fire and rescue and sheriff's office resources
  • Make lifesaving decisions and provide clear direction and advice, including pre-arrival medical instruction to callers reporting medical emergencies.
Fairfax County employees are eligible for a comprehensive benefits package, and participation in a Defined Benefit Retirement Plan, with retirement eligibility after 25 years of service.

All applicants must have the ability to:
  • Perform work assignments at different work locations when required
  • Work holidays, work every other weekend and work shifts during days, evenings, or midnights
  • Accept last minute changes in their schedule
Compensation: The non-negotiable starting salary for this position is $24.7200 per hour, except for current Fairfax County merit employees, who will retain their current salary as long as it does not exceed $33.1268.

To learn more about a Public Safety Communicator, please click here or copy and paste the following link: into a new browser to view our recruitment video for the Public Safety Communicator.

"First of the First Responders".

Illustrative Duties

(The illustrative duties listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list. A complete list of position duties and unique physical requirements can be found in the position job description.)
  • Serves as primary point of contact for reporting all 9-1-1 emergencies in Fairfax County;
  • Represents the County and Department in a professional manner and with a high level of customer service;
  • Provides information or directions to callers, police, fire & rescue/EMS and other public safety agencies, adhering to DPSC, Police, Fire & Rescue department policies and procedures governing the dissemination of information;
  • Operates a sophisticated workstation comprised of multiple computer systems including Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) 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, etc. to answer, triage and process incoming emergency and non-emergency calls for service from the general public or other public safety agencies for the protection of life and property;
  • During a life-threatening emergency, establishes communications with the caller, provide safety/life-saving instructions, and maintains control of the conversation until units arrive on the scene;
  • Interacts with callers who may be injured, distressed, distraught and/or emotional, and also public safety field personnel on the telephone and radio to accurately communicate information and instructions in all situations;
  • Gathers, classifies, and supplements pertinent information obtained from the caller and enters it into the CAD system, consistent with appropriate protocols;
  • Establishes communications with hearing impaired callers through the TTY application of the telephone system;
  • Facilitates language interpretation between non-English speaking callers and interpreters to provide assistance needed;
  • Provides all services in a "manual mode" (i.e., non-computerized environment) when primary CAD system is not available;
  • During computer down time, operates the back-up telephone system (BUTS) and TTY device, uses the street directory, telephone lists, and complaint cards, etc. to generate the appropriate public safety response;
  • Performs job duties at the alternate 9-1-1 center if activated or during tests/drills.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list.)
  • By the end of the probationary period, thorough knowledge of the policies, procedures,
  • process, laws, ordinances, and regulations affecting public safety call-taking, and the ability to apply them appropriately;
  • By the end of the probationary period, skill in operating all equipment, systems, and consoles to receive, record, and monitor data about emergency/non-emergency calls;
  • Ability to listen and obtain essential information by telephone;
  • Ability to listen and respond effectively to abusive and excited callers without deterioration of quality of service;
  • Ability to quickly assess the scope and magnitude of an emergency;
  • Ability to demonstrate understanding, compassion, and empathy;
  • Ability to act quickly and decisively;
  • Ability to work calmly and effectively under stress;
  • Ability to exercise tact and sound judgment;
  • Ability to speak clearly and concisely in English;
  • Ability to maintain control and manage calls while conveying confidence;
  • Ability to exercise tact, judgment, confidence, and authority;
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with co-workers and others.

Employment Standards

Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to:
High school graduation or possession of a GED issued by a state department of education, Within a specified time period, satisfactory completion of a prescribed training program.

  • Must be 18 years of age at time of application;
  • Must successfully complete a criminal and public safety background investigation and a polygraph examination prior to employment;
  • Must successfully complete hearing, vision, and drug screening;
  • Must be able to perform essential job functions (reasonable accommodation may be made on a case-by-case-basis);
  • Must have never committed, been involved in, or been convicted of, a felony or serious misdemeanor;
  • Must be of good character and reputation.
  • Must be able to meet requirements to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Within a specified time period, trainees must attain and maintain the following certifications:
  • Basic Dispatcher certification;
  • Certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
  • Certification in Automated External Defibrillation (AED);
  • Certification in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD);
  • Certification as a Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) Operator Level C.

  • Must be 18 years of age at time of hire;
  • Must be a United States citizen or must have been a lawful resident of the United States for the past ten (10) consecutive years ;
  • Must successfully complete a criminal background investigation, polygraph examination prior to employment;
  • Must be able to perform essential job functions (reasonable accommodation may be made on a case-by-case-basis);
  • Must have never committed, been involved in, or been convicted of, a felony or serious misdemeanor;
  • Must be of good character and reputation;
  • Must be able to work a 12-hour shift plus a mandatory ½ hour roll call prior to the shift, (days and nights) including holidays and weekends. Must be able to accept last minute schedule changes. May be required to work up to 16 hours in emergency situations.

Must have the ability to sit/stand for prolonged periods of time as required. Physically able to write legibly as required by public safety protocols. Communicate by speaking, articulating, and enunciating clearly in English. Hear 40 dB at 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz according to DOT Standards. See, using the Snellen Standard, at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction and at least 70 degrees peripheral in horizontal meridian measured in each eye. Type a minimum of 3500 keystrokes per hour, accurately using various keyboard configurations (as per agency standards) to record and transmit caller information to include address, location, phone numbers and other time-sensitive event details to public safety field personnel. Travel to work at other locations, to include the alternate 9-1-1 center. Able to perform job using standard agency equipment. All duties may be performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Panel interview and may include exercise.

The population of Fairfax County is very diverse where 39.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home ( Spanish, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indo-European, and others ) and we encourage candidates bilingual in English and a foreign language to apply to this opportunity.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. . EEO/AA/TTY.



Fairfax County, Virginia is a diverse and thriving urban county. As the most populous jurisdiction in both Virginia and the Washington metropolitan area, the County's population exceeds that of seven states. The median household income of Fairfax County is one of the highest in the nation and over half of its adult residents have four-year college degrees or more educational attainment. Fairfax County also is home to an extensive commercial office market and is a major employment center.

Fairfax County Government is a great place to work, with a variety of jobs in different fields, great benefits, and an enjoyable working environment. We serve nearly one million residents in one of the largest counties in the country. Our talented employees have established Fairfax County as a leader in nearly every facet of public service and have won national recognition as innovators in local government.The size of Fairfax County government and the diversity of services it provides to citizens allows opportunities for personal growth and development, without ever having to change employers. In addition to pay, Fairfax County Government provides an employee benefits package worth approximately 25% of your salary in additional compensation. This package of benefits consists of programs designed to protect you and your family during your employment with the county and into your retirement years.

Health Insurance
Dental Insurance
Group Term Life Insurance
Contributory Retirement Plan
Deferred Compensation
Flexible Spending Account Programs
Long Term Disability Insurance
Long Term Care Plan
Tuition Assistance Program
Employees' Child Care Center
Virginia College Savings Plans

Fairfax County's Application Process: Fairfax County uses an online application process called NEOGOV at nearly all positions.

Applicants who need assistance with the online application process are welcome to come to the Application Center at Fairfax County's HR Central where staff will be happy to work with you to establish an account and get your resume into the system. HR Central is located in the Government Center at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 270, Fairfax, VA, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Or call 703-222-5872 for more information.

For more information on applying, please click here -

Company info
12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 270

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