Emergency Communications Technician I

Arlington, Virginia
$45,801.60 - $69,971.20 Annually
Nov 01, 2019
Nov 22, 2019
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 Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) 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) and/or the Outreach and Engagement Team (OET) where you can use your social media and recruitment 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.

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:

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 Authorization Release of Personal Information and Arrest Record Questionnaire are included in the background packet and will need to be signed and notarized. The Credit History Authorization form will need to be signed by you and a witness. 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 $45,801.60 (Grade 6). Upon successful completion of the initial training period, employees may begin to work toward fulfilling the requirements of ECT II (Grade 7 -$50,169.60) and ECT III (Grade 8 - $54,329.60). 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.

Arlington County Government employee benefits depend on whether a position is permanent, the number of hours worked, and the number of months the position is scheduled.

Specific information on benefits and conditions of employment can be found on the Arlington County Human Resources Department website: www.arlingtonva.us/pers.

Permanent, Full-Time Appointments
All jobs are permanent, full-time appointments unless otherwise stated in the announcement. The following benefits are available:

Paid Leave : Vacation leave is earned at the rate of four hours biweekly. Leave accrual increases every three years until eight hours of leave are earned biweekly for twelve or more years of service. Sick leave is earned at the rate of four hours biweekly. There are eleven paid holidays each year.

Health and Dental Insurance : Three group health insurance plans are offered - a network open access plan, a point-of-service plan, and a health maintenance organization. A group dental insurance plan is also offered. The County pays a significant portion of the premium for these plans for employees and their dependents. A discount vision plan is provided for eye care needs.

Life Insurance : A group term policy of basic life insurance is provided at no cost to employees. The benefit is one times annual salary. Additional life insurance is available with rates based on the employee's age and smoker/non-smoker status.

Retirement : The County offers three vehicles to help you prepare for retirement: a defined benefit plan, a defined contribution plan (401(a)), and a deferred compensation plan (457). The defined benefit plan provides a monthly retirement benefit based on your final average salary and years of service with the County. You contribute a portion of your salary on a pre-tax basis to this plan. General employees contribute 4% of pay; uniformed public safety employees contribute 7.5% of pay. Employees become vested in the plan at five years of service. The County also contributes to this plan.

For general employees, the County also contributes 4.2% of pay to a defined contribution plan (401(a)) . The County also matches your 457 contribution, up to $20 per pay period, in this plan. The 457 deferred compensation plan allows you to set aside money on either a pre-tax (457b) or post-tax (457 Roth) basis up to the IRS annual limit. New employees are automatically enrolled with a pre-tax contribution equal to 2% of your base pay.

Other Benefits: The County also offers health, dependent care, and parking flexible spending accounts; long-term care insurance; tuition assistance; transit and walk/bike to work subsidies; a college savings plan; wellness programs; training opportunities; and a variety of other employee benefits.

Permanent, Part-Time Appointments:
Part time employees who work ten or more hours per week receive paid leave and benefits in proportion to the number of hours worked per week.

Limited Term Appointments:
Benefits are the same as permanent appointments except that the employees do not achieve permanent status.

Temporary Regular Appointments:
Temporary regular employees who work 30 hours or more per week are eligible for health, dental, and basic life insurance as described above. They are also eligible for vacation, sick leave, and paid holidays.

Temporary Seasonal and Occasional Appointments:
Temporary employees who work on a seasonal basis or variable hours receive sick leave, but do not normally receive other paid leave or benefits. Exceptions are noted in individual announcements.


By applying for the position of Emergency Communications Technician, I agree to read the entire job announcement. I understand that if I am invited to participate in the CritiCall exam, I will click on the link and read the information in preparation for the exam. I understand that I must download a background packet (20+ pages) and will submit a completed background packet including the required notarized forms, on the day of testing.
  • Yes
  • No


Please indicate the type of experience you have using computers by checking the box(es) that are most applicable to your experience. Your application should also include supporting details of this experience for clarity.
  • Data Entry
  • Word Processing
  • Records Management
  • Database Management
  • Specialized System (describe on application)
  • Other (describe on application)
  • I do not have experience using computers


Please explain in detail, your experience to the items checked in question #2. If you have already explained on your application, please put N/A


Have you taken the CritiCall exam with Arlington County before?
  • Yes
  • No


Are you willing to undergo a thorough pre-employment character/background investigation, and polygraph examination?
  • Yes
  • No


Please select if you have one or more years of experience in the following areas (Check all that apply): Please note that any items selected below must be clearly articulated on your application under "work experience" for each employer and position for proper crediting.
  • Solving problems independently
  • Dealing with individuals who are under severe stress, irate or emotional
  • Maintaining communications with co-workers over a radio system
  • Police, Fire/Rescue or Emergency Medical Service communications or operations
  • Telecommunications or dispatching
  • Data entry of information provided orally or in writing
  • None of the above


If you answer Yes to any question between 8 to 10 you will NOT be eligible for employment. These questions relate to the requirement of the National Crime Information Center and the Virginia Criminal Information Network under which candidates who have a felony conviction are ineligible to access confidential and/or sensitive information, and will not be considered. I have read understand the statement above.
  • Yes
  • No


Have you been convicted of any felonies as a juvenile or adult?
  • Yes
  • No


Do you have any criminal charge(s) in or out of state that is pending disposition?
  • Yes
  • No


Have you ever been charged of a crime and found not guilty by reason of mental illness?
  • Yes
  • No


Answering Yes to any question between 12 to 16, may make you ineligible to become an Emergency Communications Technician in Arlington County. I have read and understand the statement above.
  • Yes
  • No


Have you used or experimented with Marijuana within the last year, to include synthetic or derivatives?
  • Yes
  • No


Please select if you have ever knowingly used the following (Check all that apply):
  • Cocaine, "Crack" Cocaine
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Heroin
  • Amphetamines (non- ADHD medication)
  • Methamphetamines (non- ADHD medication)
  • Barbiturates (non- ADHD medication
  • None of the above


Please specify the last time (month/year) you knowingly used without a prescription for all items selected above.


Do you have any Driving Under the Influence, Driving While Impaired, Reckless Driving or Hit and Run offenses on your driving record?
  • Yes
  • No


Have you ever had any misdemeanor convictions as a juvenile or adult?
  • Yes
  • No


If you answered Yes to numbers 15 and/or 16, please specify the last time (month/year) and use this space to provide comments or information regarding each offense named above that is on your driving record.

Required Question

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