Benefits include Emergency Medical Services Retirement System (EMSRS), PEIA health and life insurance, vision, and dental coverage, and 12 paid holidays a year.
For more information on EMSRS please visit: www.wvretirement.com/EMSRS.html
Overtime at 1 ½ times hourly wage for hours worked beyond 40 hours in each week.
The application process is handled by Putnam County 911 / Emergency Management. You may apply by downloading a PDF application to fill out and mail, or apply in person at 100 Emergency Lane, Winfield, WV 25213. Call (304) 586-4923 or (304) 586-4920 if you have questions. Please call in advance if special accommodations are required to apply.
Applicant Selection Process
911 Telecommunicator (Telecommunicator) is an entry-level position. The recruitment process for 911 Telecommunicator is a lengthy process, requiring commitment and follow-through of the applicant. After applying for employment, the selection process is as follows:
1. Critical Testing
Applicants who meet the basic job requirements are invited to take part in this computer-based test. This test measures various skills such as multitasking, reading comprehension, and typing skills of prospective applicants.
2. Entry Packet Testing
Upon successful completion of the CritiCall Test, applicants are invited to take part in an entry packet test. This test consists of interstate mile markers, major routes, phonetic alphabet, and other essential telecommunicator knowledge. Applicants will receive the study material exactly 24 hours prior to their scheduled test time.
3. Oral Board Interviews
Upon successful completion of the entry packet test, applicants are invited to be interviewed. Applicants will interview face-to-face with a panel of at least three supervisors. Applicants will be asked several questions to determine their relevant experience and qualifications for the position.
4. Background Investigation
Applicants who successfully complete the interview process will begin the background portion of recruitment. Applicants will be subjected to a complete law enforcement background check including reference and criminal history checks. This background process is critical to determining an applicant’s qualifications for the position.
5. Conditional Job Offer
Applicants who successfully complete the hiring and recruitment process will be issued a conditional offer of employment as a 911 Telecommunicator Trainee. This is a paid probationary position within Putnam County 911, totaling 3 months in length, and requires successful completion of the Basic Dispatch Academy during that time.
What to Expect Upon Hire
Academy Training Phase
Putnam County 911 requires all Trainees to attend a classroom training academy. The purpose of the Academy is to teach Trainees the fundamentals of 911 call-taking, law enforcement, fire, and EMS dispatch. The academy is four weeks in length, Monday through Friday, and challenges the Trainee with an intensive academic schedule. Trainees receive instruction daily on curriculum ranging from law enforcement, fire, and EMS procedures and policy to the operation of the department’s computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, 911 telephone system, mapping, and radio console equipment. Trainees also receive certification from APCO in Public Safety Telecommunicator 1 (PST1) and Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD).
Trainees are tested almost daily and expected to maintain a minimum passing score of 80% in all categories. To successfully graduate, Trainees must complete the Academy’s combined final and practical examination. Trainees are tested for their ability to retain knowledge accumulated throughout the Academy and successfully demonstrate their ability to manipulate the computer-aided dispatch system and other equipment while processing information.
On the Job Training
Upon successful completion of the Dispatch Academy, Trainees enter the On-the-Job (OJT) Phase. The On-the-Job (OJT) Phase is 60 days long.
Trainees are assigned a Communications Training Officer (CTO) who monitors, instructs, and evaluates the Trainee’s progress throughout the OJT phase. This process allows the Trainee the ability to put into play the skills and knowledge learned during the Academy. This phase is carried out in the 911 center providing the Trainee the ability to handle active emergencies both while answering telephone calls and handling radio traffic.
Trainees are evaluated daily on their progress during the OJT phase. As Trainees progress and begin to demonstrate competence in several evaluated areas, they are provided sign-off at various positions within the 911 center. Once Trainees have completed the OJT phase of training and evaluations they will be allowed to work independently as a 911 Telecommunicator.
- While in the classroom phase of training, trainees generally work Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Occasionally these hours may vary due to instructor availability.
- Training during the On-the-Job Training Phase occurs on an assigned twelve-hour shift on one of the following shifts at the department’s discretion: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. or 6 p.m.-6 a.m.
- Once released from training, 911 Telecommunicators are assigned to one of the following shifts at the department’s discretion: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. or 6 p.m.-6 a.m.
Frequently Asked Emplyment Questions
Why does someone choose to become a 911 Telecommunicator?
Here are some quotes provided by our 911 Telecommunicators:
“Every day provides new challenges”
“Lots of variety”
“Many times, exciting and exhilarating”
“Great team environment”
“I feel good about what I do here”
Is the job of 911 Telecommunicator stressful?
At times, yes. However, you will be taught how to handle 911 emergency calls both from the citizen (who needs help) and to the responder (fire, police, and medical services). Once these skills are developed and you gain experience, your stress will be greatly reduced.
What kind of educational background and previous job experience is necessary to become a 911 Telecommunicator?
The minimum education requirements are a high school education or GED with some job experience, preferably employment where you have had some direct customer contact (for example: restaurant, customer service, or a retail store).
What skills are necessary to become a 911 Telecommunicator?
- Strong work ethic
- Desire to help others
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to provide excellent customer service
- Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced and dynamic environment
- Good short-term memory and common sense
- Strong keyboarding and computer skills
Are applicants expected to know how to run all the electronic dispatch equipment?
No. We have a comprehensive training program to teach you all you need to know about how to use the equipment and how to interact with the 911 caller. Our program teaches you many new skills and, at the same time, helps sharpen skills you already have.
Are 911 Telecommunicators required to be bilingual?
No, being bilingual is not required but if you have the skills mentioned above and are bilingual then you should definitely apply.
Are applicants hired for specific shifts?
No. The shift ultimately assigned to a 911 Telecommunicator (after training) will depend on which shift is needed at that time. Therefore, applicants must be able to work any assigned shift, which includes day and night hours.
Is training only during day shift hours?
Classroom training is typically Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but there are some required courses that run during other hours. Field training occurs on an assigned shift, which includes day and night hours.