Oct 30, 2018
Nov 16, 2018
Specialty Trades
Full Time
Position Information

Do you like having a positive impact on the lives of others? Do you like dealing with the unexpected? Do you want to make a difference? If the answers to all these questions is a resounding "yes", enter the world of Emergency Communications by clicking on the following link: departments.arlingtonva.us/ecc/recruitment and scrolling down the page to view the ECC Recruitment video.

Arlington County's Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management currently has multiple vacancies within its Emergency Communications Center.
The Emergency Communications Center provides critical information and support to public safety departments within Arlington County. As an Emergency Communications Technician, you will face diverse challenges, as every call is an opportunity to provide essential service to community members, public safety staff, and other emergency communications center staff. This is a great opportunity for those looking to make a direct impact on the community, and provide crucial support to Fire, Police, and EMS personnel in the field.

Specific duties include:

  • Receiving and dispatching emergency and non-emergency calls;
  • Determining priority of incoming calls and accurately relaying information to the dispatcher;
  • Providing information, support and guidance to callers in stressful situations;
  • Serving as a liaison between caller and Police, Fire and EMS personnel;
  • Sending, receiving and disseminating confidential information; and
  • Entering and updating information into statewide and national databases while reviewing for completeness and accuracy.
Candidates must have the ability to:
  • Make quick, independent decisions while working in a high-impact, high stress environment;
  • Work in a teamwork-oriented environment by giving support and receiving support from other Emergency Communication Technicians as well as public safety personnel in the field;
  • Handle simultaneous tasks under pressure;
  • Learn the geography and street systems of Arlington County;
  • Provide information and instructions to citizens and public safety officers in a clear, concise manner on the telephone and radio;
  • Enter information provided orally, accurately into a computer; and
  • Work in non-traditional shifts, such as weekends, nights, and holidays.
  • Obtain required certifications and update job knowledge through classroom, on the job, and self-initiated training and online.
Individuals new to emergency communications work are expected to successfully complete initial training within 18 months. Individuals with 9-1-1 dispatch experience are strongly encouraged to apply and, if hired, are likely to proceed through the initial training period at an accelerated pace.

Working as an Emergency Communications Technician includes many opportunities for growth and development within the Emergency Communications Center. Some examples of development opportunities for established technicians could include participation in becoming trained as a Communications Training Officer (CTO), or Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) Instructor, by participating as a member of various teams or committees such as the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), the Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM),  ECC Awards Committee and/or the DPSCEM Outreach Team where you can use your social media skills.

Click here to access information on the CritiCall exam.  Please read this information prior to taking the exam.

Selection Criteria

Minimum: High school diploma or GED plus one year of experience providing direct public contact, problem resolution and using computers with a minimum typing speed of 25 wpm.

See "Special Requirements" section for details on the Hiring Process.

Desirable: Preference may be given to candidates with one or more of the following:

  • Experience in Police, Fire/Rescue or Emergency Medical Service communications/operations;
  • Telecommunications or dispatching experience;
  • Experience dealing with individuals in stressful situations; and/or
  • Experience with computer entry of information provided orally.

Special Requirements

E-mail notifications containing specific details for an upcoming CritiCall Public Safety Communications examination will be sent to qualified applicants selected for testing.  Please provide a valid e-mail address on your application in order to receive applicant status information throughout the hiring process. 

Candidates must bring a COMPLETED BACKGROUND PACKET in order to be admitted to the test. Instructions on how to access the background packet will be provided via email to qualified applicants selected for testing. Packets will be reviewed at the test site and you will be turned away if your packet is not complete in its entirety.

The hiring process consists of a multi-step selection process that includes a variety of examinations and interviews. Success in each of the following is required in order to advance in the process:

Typing Examination: - Applicants must successfully pass a 25 word per minute test or present documentation from another state, local or federal agency certifying the ability to type 25 words per minute. This may be done by providing documentation on the date of the exam or by attaching documentation to your application. Please note that the typing test will be administered on the same day as the CritiCall exam, unless the applicant provides their typing score ahead of time.

CritiCall Public Safety Communications Examination: - A link to instructions related to the exam is under "Position Information" and available to download. Reviewing this information before the day of testing is required. Not reviewing this information in advance may impact your score!

Character/Background Investigation: - The comprehensive Character/Background Investigation packet is available to applicants on the website of the Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management. The background investigation will be conducted concurrently with the other steps in the hiring process. The Credit History Authorization and Authorization for Release of Personal Information form are included in the background packet and will need to be signed and notarized. The completed background packet will need to be submitted on the day of testing before the exam can be taken. An incomplete packet could be cause for disqualification. Please allow adequate time to complete the 20+ page background packet before arriving for testing.

Panel Interview: - Questions included in the interview are designed to assess knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to the job.

Polygraph Examination: - The comprehensive polygraph packet is available to applicants on the website of the Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management.  Applicants who advance to this step in the process will be emailed instructions and additional information regarding the polygraph examination. Polygraph examinations are not rescheduled. Applicants who cancel a scheduled polygraph examination or fail to bring a completed polygraph packet to the examination will be disqualified and not advance further in the process.

Sit-A-Long: - Sitting in the Emergency Communications Center as a silent observer by listening to calls being processed for service. In addition, you can be assigned to listen to the dispatch of police, fire and/or EMS calls. Applicants with unfavorable results to the Background Investigation that are revealed prior to this step will be disqualified and not advance further in the process. 

NOTE: The County may offer a contingent Conditional Offer based upon the successful completion of steps of the hiring process outlined above.

Additional Information

Applicants should also note the following potential disqualifiers:

• Engaging in any activity that would support a felony conviction.
• Incomplete or inaccurate information on the background investigation questionnaire.
• Recent or current drug use.

Work hours: This position will work a 12-hour shift with rotating days off.  There are four shifts: two day shifts and two midnight shifts. Employees are assigned to shifts based on the needs of the department.

Employees are required to work weekends and holidays, which depends on the rotation of the shift to which an employee is assigned. Shift schedules are subject to change depending on the needs of the department and to accommodate mandatory training.
The base salary starts at $42, 931.20 (Grade 6). Upon successful completion of the initial training period (approximately 18 months), employees may begin to work toward fulfilling the requirements of ECT II (Grade 7 -$47,028.80) and ECT III (Grade 8 - $50,939.20). Applicants with prior Emergency Communications or Public Safety experience may be eligible to start at a higher salary than entry level.

Base pay is supplemented by holiday pay and night differential when applicable.

Overtime opportunities may be available based on the needs of the communications center.

Please complete each section of the application. A resume may be attached, however, it will not substitute for the completed application. Your responses to the supplemental questionnaire are required for this position. Please do not give "see resume" as a response to the questions. Incomplete applications will not be considered.