Emergency Communications Officer

Website City of Richmond Dept of Emergency Communications

RVA 911 Emergency Operations Center

Recruitment for Academy Class starting January 6th, 2020

Starting pay is $18.27 per hour

This class performs tasks supporting emergency 911 police and fire telecommunications, non-emergency call-taking, and police and fire dispatch communications. Incumbents support the Emergency Communications Center and provide specialized and technical work, including formal training of other staff. Work may include: answering calls to deliver the assurance of calm, effective and accurate assistance; relaying information; dispatching and coordination public safety responses ranging from routine to critical;  listening to calls for quality assurance purposes; complying with protocols and service standards; creating monthly reports; producing reports and materials; maintaining records; and providing employee feedback and training recommendations.  As assigned, incumbents may assist with creating and developing training programs and may assist with candidate recruitment, testing, and selection.

This class is part of a broad band program that is aimed at providing wage progression through acquiring experience and certain skill sets.  Experience and skills required to progress are outlined in a tiered system consisting of pay progression zones. Incumbents assigned as Trainee participate in an approved training program as well as in the call taking and dispatch activities of the Emergency Communications Center. Incumbents assigned as Journey-Level perform the full breadth of emergency communications activities, word processing and specialized data entry, and provide limited training to trainees. Incumbents assigned as Trainer have two years of specific emergency communications, police, fire, or emergency medical experience and are VCIN/NCIC certified. Incumbents perform the full breadth of emergency communications activities and are responsible for telecommunications and alarms monitoring and providing staff training.

Supervision Exercised/Received:
Exercised: This classification typically does not supervises other employees but may act as a lead worker;
Received: This classification typically reports to an assistant supervisor;
Note: Other reporting relationships may apply.
Example of Duties

The City of Richmond Department of Emergency Communications seeks to find ideal candidates, with passion for “Building the best Richmond,” to fill several entry level and experienced 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Officer positions.

The Department of Emergency Communications is committed to providing the citizens of the City of Richmond excellent service as the “first of the first” responders for emergency situations.

Duties include, but are not limited to:
Answering emergency and non-emergency calls;
Dispatching resources as appropriate;
Performing data entry, word processing and related duties.

The Communications Officer must be resilient.

The 9-1-1 center is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.  Available Work Schedules include: Twelve-hour shifts; day, evening and midnight shifts which include weekends and holidays.

The selected person(s) must also be able to adhere to the following conditions of employment:
Twelve month probationary period;
Day, evening and midnight shifts (including weekends and holidays);
12-hour work schedule;
Essential Personnel designation (inclement weather, disaster and emergency recall);
Shift/Work schedule placement based on seniority, skill sets and needs of the Organization;
Occasional work beyond normal work schedule;
Uniformed operation (must wear uniform).

This position is considered an essential personnel and is subject to work on-call hours, weekend and holiday call duty as scheduled.
Qualifications, Special Certifications and Licenses

High School Diploma or GED;
As assigned, a minimum of one year of communications or dispatch experience or two years of related experience;
An equivalent combination of training and experience (as approved by the department) may be used to meet the minimum qualifications of the classification.
Preferred Qualifications:


At least One (1) year experience in fast paced customer service environment;
Strong communication skills (Written, verbal and listening);
At least One (1) year experience in 9-1-1 environment;
Two way radio and or communications experience is a plus.
Incumbents must pass an initial skills assessment and, as assigned, are required to be VCIN/NCIC certified. Incumbents must pass a critical skills examination and a suitability assessment.
Incumbents much pass an extensive background investigation to include local, state and federal criminal history check, a drug screening and a polygraph examination.  Incumbent many not have felony convictions.
The emergency center is open and staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As assigned, incumbents must be available to work:Day, evening or midnight shifts
Up to a 12-hour regular shift
Weekday and weekends
Mandatory overtime
Incumbents are considered to be essential personnel and must be available to report to work during inclement weather, disasters, and emergencies.
As part of a Uniformed Operation, employees must wear appropriate uniform.

TYPICAL KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES: These are a representative sample; position assignments may vary.

Knowledge (some combination of the following):
Basic dispatch codes, standard abbreviations and industry terminology commonly used by emergency medical services, fire department, and law enforcement agencies
Safety and security
Data entry
Department policies and procedures related to emergency communications, disasters, special responses, etc.
Electronic databases and related software applications such as CentraCom, Open Fox, RMS, Live Mum, Virginia Criminal Information Network, National Crime Information Center, etc.
Equipment types for fire and police radios
Jurisdictional boundaries as well as thoroughfares, landmarks, public buildings, and waterways throughout Virginia
Map reading
Relevant rules, regulations, and procedures, including safety procedures such as CPR and First Aid
Station locations for fire radio communications
Various systems such as Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, Intrado 9-1-1- telephone system, telecommunication systems, etc.
Skills (some combination of the following):
Answering calls in ten (10) seconds
Dispatching and coordinating public safety responses including routine and critical
Dispatching call within allotted timeframe for different priorities
Using multiple pieces of equipment at once such as answering phone and viewing six computer screens
Conducting quality assurance for calls
Communicating to various internal and external departments
Creating monthly reports
Developing and creating training programs
Ensuring compliance with protocols and service standards
Providing employee feedback and training recommendations
Reading, writing and/or translating in Spanish, if focus area
Relaying and retaining information
Typing 85 words per minute (wpm)

Abilities (some combination of the following):
Show empathy and compassion
Have quick reactions
Maintain calm approach to situations
Follow standard procedures and established practices
Handle stressful situations
Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Prospective and current employees are invited to discuss accommodations.

ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS: Working conditions may include exposure to travel to other locations within the City of Richmond as well as outside of the City of Richmond; exposure to hazardous physical conditions such as mechanical parts, electrical currents, vibrations, etc.; atmospheric conditions such as fumes, odors, dusts, gases, and poor ventilation; inadequate lighting; intense noise; and environmental hazards such as disruptive people, imminent danger, and a threatening environment.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND WORKING ENVIRONMENT: Due to the nature of work assignments, incumbents must be able to perform detailed work on multiple, concurrent tasks, with frequent interruptions and under time constraint. The essential duties of this classification may require the ability to regularly finger, talk, hear, see, and perform repetitive motions; and frequently grasp. The working conditions may not include environmental hazards. In terms of the physical strength to perform the essential duties, this classification is considered to be sedentary, exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally, and a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to move objects.

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