P S Communicator I

Fairfax, Virginia
$40,099.70 - $65,318.03 Annually
Sep 21, 2019
Oct 12, 2019
Full Time
Job Announcement

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Do you want to help save lives? 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 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. We are 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 of the first responders that the community interacts with in reporting emergencies in Fairfax County. In this exciting role, our PSC's answer 9-1-1 emergency and other calls from the community as well as dispatching police, fire and rescue and sheriff's department resources. Our PSC's are trained to make lifesaving decisions and provide clear direction and advice, including pre-arrival medical instruction to callers reporting medical emergencies. PSCs use a wide variety of cutting edge technology systems like computer aided dispatch (CAD), 9-1-1 telephone and text messaging, GIS mapping and aerial photography, multi-channel radio systems, law enforcement data systems, etc. 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. The training provided will allow entry level PSC I's to advance and be promoted to the higher PSC II and PSC III designations through on the job training. In addition to a challenging work environment and ample growth opportunities, Fairfax County Government offers an attractive and comprehensive benefits program. As an employee of Fairfax County, you would be eligible for numerous county benefits ( Employee Benefits Summary ) Participation in our generous Defined Benefit Retirement Plan, with retirement eligibility after 25 years of service. Other available benefits include paid time off and 13 paid holidays, flexible spending programs, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, tuition assistance program, fixed non-rotating work shifts and opportunities to work overtime.

Note: Applicants must have the ability to:
  • perform work assignments at different work locations when required;
  • work holidays, weekends and shifts during days, evenings or midnights;
  • accept last minute changes in their schedule
Compensation: The non-negotiable starting salary for this position is $20.2429 per hour, except for current merit county employees, who will retain their current salary as long as it does not exceed $28.4834.

Please click here or copy and paste the link into a new browser to view our recruitment video for the Public Safety Communicator, We are the "First of the First Responders".

Illustrative Duties

  • 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 work station 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

  • 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.

  • 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 B.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful resident for the past ten consecutive years;
  • Must be 18 years of age at time of hire;
  • 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.
  • These positions are designated as emergency service personnel and, as such, must report to work even when leave for inclement weather or other emergency is declared.
Must have the ability to sit or 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 key strokes 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. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Panel interview. Computerized and written tests.

It is the policy of Fairfax County Government to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability 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.

Similar jobs