Another 9-1-1 Job Possibility?

Another 9-1-1 Job Possibility?

Last night I received an e-mail from my father with a link to a job posting for a Public Safety 9-1-1 Dispatcher with Kenosha City/County Joint Services. KCCJS is a consolidated public safety group providing, among other services, 9-1-1 dispatching to all law enforcement and fire/rescue services in Kenosha County… Wisconsin. (Yeah, I knnow I’m threatening to leave Richmond again.)

I read through the info and filled out the application. Let me tell you, this was a pretty serious application too. Six pages, plus a 2 page checklist (which I will explain more about later). Additionallly they said you could give them copies of your resume, and any relevant educational information. I enclosed my highschool transcript and copies of the certificates I’ve earned from FEMA’s independent study courses. All told, it was 15 pages worth of stuff when I dropped it off at the post office today. Hopefully it will all arrive by the deadline on Friday.

What I found particularly interesting in this application was the “Dispatcher Checklist.” This 2-page document was a list of 30 odd items that they would like a potential applicant to consider before applying for the job. The application packet sites an unacceptable rate of attrition of new dispatchers because they are unaware of the more difficult aspects of the position. They ask that you read and consider each item and check it off indicating your consideration.

I found this an interesting approach to curbing the attrition rate. I’m not entirely sure how effective it will be considering you could easily check things off without reading them. I’m sure that lack of attention will show up eventually, but I’d be interested in seeing some statistics relating to this before and after including the checklist in the application packet. Below is the list they included.

  1. Unable to physically leave your worksite (i.e. walk around, use the restroom, get coffee, etc.) At any time other than two 15 minute breaks and a 20 minute lunch scheduled dependent upon workload
  2. Unable to schedule your own lunch or rest breaks
  3. Unable to smoke at your worksite at any time
  4. Work at a small, confined work area in a room with low lighting
  5. Have a very limited opportunity to talk with your fellow workers during your work shift
  6. Work within an organization structured on the “military” model, i.e – Working through a highly structured “chain-of-command” -Having all phone and radio activities monitored/taped       -Having a disciplinary policy
  7. During training, be regularly reminded of errors and mistakes
  8. Work at a rapid pace over which you have little control
  9. Maintain intense concentration and attention for extended periods
  10. During training receive a daily rating of your job performance including criticism
  11. Work at a radio console and a computer terminal at keyboard rate of 30 wpm for a full shift
  12. Required to work different shifts
  13. Required to work weekends on a regular basis
  14. Work Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and any or all holidays
  15. Obtain child care between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (swing shift) or 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (graveyard shift) as well as during the day
  16. Obtain child care for weekends and holidays on a regular basis
  17. Work overtime, before or after a shift, sometimes with little notice
  18. Have limited choice about which shift you are assigned to work
  19. Have limited choice of which days you work
  20. During on-the-job training, you may have to work all shifts
  21. Be in a high stress environment
  22. May be criticized by co-workers, officers and/or citizens


  23. Answer telephone calls where someone screams at you
  24. Answer telephone calls where the caller directs obscene language at you
  25. Answer telephone calls from suicidal subjects
  26. Answer and respond to telephone calls where the caller is hysterical, intoxicated, irrational, or confused
  27. Answer and respond to rescue and fire calls
  28. Give medical instruction over the phone
  29. Answer and respond to calls where a violent crime is in progress
  30. Answer and respond to telephone calls in which the caller is almost impossible to understand
  31. Make quick decisions on which one or more person’s safety is at stake
  32. Prioritize calls to be dispatched, deciding which is most serious
  33. Tell someone who expects police service that their problem does not require police unit response

After reading through this, and being aware of most of it from sit-alongs at WCECD and dispatcher blogs, I still want to give this a shot. Probably proves I’m a little nuts, but, as most of you know, I really have been interested in this type of work for a long time. We’ll see what comes of it.