PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST I
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is entry level work involving public safety communications in an emergency communications center. Contacts primarily include police officers, representatives of other public safety and support agencies, and the general public to receive and transmit information, coordinate mutually supporting actions among public safety units/employees, and provide field police officers with vital communications. Personal assistance is provided to citizens requesting emergency and non-emergency help via telephone calls received in the emergency communications center. Employees in this entry class are developing highly skilled listening ability in order to quickly ascertain from emotional, distraught individuals, the nature of assistance necessary.
An employee in this class is responsible for learning about and developing the knowledge of the practices, methods, standards, and procedures of public safety communications in a 9-1-1- environment combined with skill in the use of various radio and telephone equipment and other integrated systems at the call taking and dispatching work stations. Such knowledge is acquired through structured class room instructions and extensive on the job training. Initially employees work under the direct, close supervision, at the work station, from a fully skilled Public Safety Communications Specialist; employees are expected to demonstrate increasing knowledge, skills and abilities which signify less supervision is required. Work is, initially, continuously monitored by a proficient Public Safety Communications Specialists or a Public Safety Communications Supervisor for accuracy, ability to calmly respond to emergency situations, and compliance with standard operating procedures. Work performance is governed by extensive written guidelines, which employees are expected to closely follow with frequent reference to supervisor or higher level Public Safety Communications Specialist for application as new situations are encountered. All deviations from normal policies/procedures are referred to higher authority for resolution. This level of work is complicated by the need to learn and commit to memory many varied duties requiring different steps/procedures and making prompt, accurate decisions under often trying circumstances. Work requirements do not permit prolonged reflection before making decisions. Work performed at this level contributes to the expeditious routing of calls for police and other public safety services and assists police officers in the field. Work requires timely and appropriate responses to incoming calls from the public and to requests for police dispatches to emergency situations which may be potentially life-threatening in nature. Work requires employee to sit for prolonged periods at a designated work station monitoring computer screens and entering data. An employee in this class may be required to rotate shifts and days off.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
As part of on-the-job training, responds to telephone and wireless phone inquiries at a call taker work station; learns to discern when information is sufficient to accurately determine the nature of assistance required (i.e., police, fire, medical); records appropriate information; determines priority of assignment; and, relays information to proper source following established SOPs of the Emergency Communications Center and applicable local, state, and federal laws.
As part of on-the-job training, dispatches police officers to respond to calls for assistance which are of a routine or emergency nature; provides special instructions, hazard information, and additional information (i.e., license numbers, address verifications, data from police reports, directions, emergency information, etc.) as appropriate and/or as requested by the police officers or emergency medical personnel; learns and follows guidelines on how to enter information for broadcast to law enforcement officers throughout the County, (i.e., lookout information for wanted or missing persons, information concerning the welfare of officers, stolen vehicle data, etc.)
Develops multi-tasking skills needed to maintain radio contact with and status of numerous police officers assigned to a geographical section of the County.
As directed, makes inquiries into local, state and national police computer data bases to obtain/record information on arrest warrants, driver history, stolen property, stolen vehicles, securities and boats, vehicles, firearms, etc.
As directed, reassigns incidents to other police units or assigns additional police units as priorities, needs and conditions change.
As directed, provides information concerning special events, large crowds, traffic congestion, etc.
As part of on-the-job training, communicates with voice box devices for speaking impaired persons; operates teletype devices with the Maryland Relay Service for the hearing impaired requesting police or other assistance; learns to utilize AT&T language translation services, as appropriate, to complete call processing from foreign speaking callers.
As directed, updates information such as new street names and house numbers, phone numbers, etc. to update the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system.
As directed, refers callers to other County agencies, state or federal agencies or outside jurisdictions; learns the process for maintaining electronic communication with surrounding jurisdictions and municipalities.
As directed, explains limited aspects of civil law and various aspects of traffic and criminal law to the public.
Calls for vehicle towing services, road maintenance crews, traffic signal light crews, etc., as necessary.
As directed, performs routine equipment preventive maintenance tasks and tests to help maintain operational capability.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: One (1) year of responsible work experience involving public contact.
Education: Completion of high school or High School Certificate of completion recognized in the State of Maryland.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Ability to learn and commit to memory large volumes of written directives and procedures (i.e., the SOPs governing call-taking and police dispatching functions in the County Emergency Communications Center environment).
Ability to acquire knowledge of and skill in application of the requirements, capabilities, and user techniques for multiple automated systems (e.g., computer aided dispatch system, computerized warrant system, state and national system for checking outstanding warrants and stolen vehicles, mutual aid radio system, computerized phone system, mapping systems) located at call taking and dispatcher work stations.
Ability to speak clearly and distinctly.
Ability to quickly receive, comprehend, and relay information from and to a variety of sources, individuals, and situations.
Ability to priorities, organize, and multi-task simultaneous actions.
Ability to type at the net rate of 25 words per minute.
Ability to read maps.
Ability to work rotating shift work.
Ability to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office, if necessary.
Individuals appointed to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of one (1) year, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Core Exam and Drug/Alcohol Screen
Class Established: December, 1978
Revised: May, 1980
February, 2006 (M)
Formerly Titled: Police Telecommunicator I