Note: Please check the Human Resources Department Job Requisitions for current openings or click here.
General Information Regarding Dispatcher Position
1. Receives calls from the general public regarding EMS/fire/police situations; taking and
processing these calls using telephone, radio and computer equipment.
2. Is the liaison between the citizens and emergency services personnel along with other governmental agencies.
3. Maintains an accurate record of system users in regards to location, availability and safety.
4. Cooperates with system users.
5. Sends teletypes via CLEAN/NCIC to other governmental agencies about crimes committed in Bucks County, to assist in apprehension.
6. Learns and maintains a knowledge of the County and municipal boundaries.
7. Subject to 24-hour call, being forced to hold over or being forced to come in early to fulfill department manpower needs.
8. Reports unusual/questionable items/issues to supervisors.
9. Obeys all safety rules and regulations.
10. Obeys all county/departmental rules and regulations regarding their position to comply with any local, state and national standards.
11. Performs similar or related duties as assigned by a supervisor or department manager.
Communications (Operations Division) positions levels: (2012 pay rates)
1. Dispatcher Trainee: (per-diem, 30 hours per week, with per-diem benefits after successfully completing training and if no full-time position is available). Starting rate for training is $13.52/hour. Training takes approx. 20 weeks.
- Notations: You must pass all training phases and probation phase to continue to next level. There may be a waiting period where you will remain as a per-diem employee until a full time position becomes available. There is no way to predict when full-time openings occur.
2. Dispatcher I probationary (full-time [40 hours/week]): This position is eligible for benefits when position is available: rate is $23.39/hour, $48,651.00 annual. Note: if a full-time position is not available after you complete training you will remain at the per-diem status but receive benefits with vacation & sick time accruing at the per-diem hours-per-week rate.
3. Dispatcher I (FT, after 6 mo. Probation): Pay rate is $24.33/hour, $50,606.00 annual.
4. Dispatcher III (supervisory level / primary communications training officers).
5. Emergency Communications Management level positions.
Your training schedule: (Class Room Phase & On-the-Job (OJT) Training Phase)
All new hires are assigned to the training division for the first 20 weeks of your training (class-room & OJT phases). Classes will be conducted during the weekdays between the hours of 8:00am-4:30pm. (for OJT scheduling see next paragraph). Following the classroom and OJT phases the trainee will be placed on probation. During these periods you will be working at the per-diem rate, but, once a full time position opens you will be placed into the full-time position as long as your knowledge, skills and abilities are at acceptable levels. Thus, full-time status is earned by your performance. We make every effort to provide an ample environment to succeed.
Those who are not successful in completing any of the classroom modules; ( Bucks County specifics, Associated Public Safety Communications Officials, International (APCO) Institute certifications, American Heart Association CPR, classroom, OJT or probationary phases) will be terminated.
Hours of Operations / Shift Assignments:
During the OJT (On-the-Job Training) phase the trainee will be assigned to a Communications Training Officer (CTO) or training dispatcher and will follow their schedule. Shift rotation (different working times) may occur. You will be given an OJT schedule ahead of time.
Following successful completion of OJT, probationary dispatchers will be assigned to either fill in openings in the schedule (on any shift) or assigned to fill-in a specific 8-hour or 12-hour shift rotation, which may continue for part of your probationary period.
Once your permanent schedule is assigned you will receive a printout for the entire year listing your work days and days off. You will then normally be assigned to work a 12-hour shift. (Example: 6pm-6am, 330pm-330am, etc.). The day shifts are considered premium shifts and are issued by seniority (6am-6pm). Successful students being assigned to shifts should plan on being assigned to additional shifts as needed (being held over or called in early or on a day off).
Full-Time Placement : Full-time status is earned. The individuals, who give 100%, are routinely on time, do not abuse off days (illness, etc.), will get full-time first. This will be determined by the employee's performance as evidenced in their training and probationary documentation and by management approval.
Note: Please check the Human Resources Department Job Requistions for current opening or click here.
During the periods when we are accepting applications for employment, Bucks County Emergency Communications actively participates in recruiting activities. These activities involve county, local and regional job fairs to promote emergency communications dispatcher employment.
An emergency communications dispatcher is a trained professional who specializes in facilitating communications between various citizens and entities in emergency and non-emergency situations. The majority of the situations involve the safety and welfare of the public. Dispatchers in resolving calls for assistance make critical decisions routinely. Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications handles a call volume that requires skilled employees.
In order to achieve having skilled employees the Emergency Communications department carefully screens applicants prior to offering a position of employment. Here is a basic list of items used to screen our applicants:
- All applicants are screened through local and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania criminal justice files as well as through the National Crime Information Center database. Anyone with a prior criminal record is disqualified.
- All applicants must be able to type a minimum of 30 words per minute (WPM - corrected). Those unable to attain the minimum WPM are disqualified.
- Applicants who pass the first two screens are invited to participate in our pre-employment examinations:
- A study guide for a local preliminary exam is provided to help applicants prepare for the local exam. (The study of any Bucks County map or map book that identifies county townships, boroughs, towns, hamlets and major road/highways will also help to prepare an applicant for this exam.)
- The local exam is comprised of geographic knowledge and information. This is a written exam.
- All applicants are also tested for the following skills: basic computer operations, short-term memory, reading comprehension, reaction time, multitasking, and verbal communications (this list is not all inclusive). This test is a computer-based test using a headset/microphone, keyboard and mouse.
- Applicants must receive a passing grade on both exams in order to be permitted to continue in the selection process. Those who do not pass the tests are disqualified.
- Applicants who pass the examinations are then scheduled for a personal interview with department managers (interview board has 2-3 members). Interviews last approximately 45-60 minutes including time for the applicant to ask questions at then end. The interviews are scored (thus, being on time for the interview counts).
- We will then review previous work histories of those who were interviewed. The results of this review will create a finalists list. Those at the top of the list (via scoring) will be the first to receive job offers, which will come from the Human Resources department. The number of people selected for hire will depend upon the number of positions open at that time.
- The applicants that are not selected will be eligible within one year from the test date to reapply.
Department of Emergency Communications
Peter D. Ference
Director / 911 Coordinator
Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications / 911 Center
Bucks County Emergency Services Complex
911 Freedom Way
Ivyland, PA 18974