Dispatch Applicant FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Dispatchers play a crucial role in ensuring efficient and effective responses to emergency situations. They are the first point of contact for individuals in need of immediate assistance. The following frequently asked questions about hiring, training and schedules provide insight for those looking for more information about this role.

To get more information directly, get in touch with our hiring specialist at careers@SNO911.org or on our website.

Dispatcher FAQs

What are the application steps?

The application process starts by taking one of two cognitive abilities tests: Public Safety Testing Dispatcher Exam (requires applicants to pay a fee and test at a PST location or at home on specific days / times) or the CritiCall Dispatcher Exam (no fee required, take the test at home at applicant’s convenience, and applicants can request a test link by emailing careers@sno911.org).

Applicant’s passing one of those exams will be sent further instructions on completing the formal application on governmentjobs.com. Successful candidates will be invited to an in-person interview followed by a polygraph, background investigation, psychological suitability exam, drug test, and hearing test.

How long is the hiring process?

This can vary, but on average it takes 2-3 months to get through all of the steps, with the background investigation taking the most time (30 to 45 days).

When would I start the job?

Approximately 2-3 months after your panel interview. Generally speaking, we have new hire training every other month starting in January, depending on position availability.

Do you hire part-time dispatchers?

No, we are only hiring full-time dispatchers at this time.

What is the schedule like?

The schedule is 12 hour shifts on a 4-3-3-4 schedule. Four days on, three days off, three days on, four days off. There are also two On-Call Days every 28 days (26 On-Call Shifts per year). On-Call days would be mandatory overtime if activated. These days are scheduled days to allow staff to plan appropriately for the possibility of being activated (called-in).

The shift schedules are 7am to 7pm, 7pm to 7am, and a small number of dispatchers work the “power shift” which is 11am to 11pm.

What shifts are you hiring for?

We are hiring for all shifts. We will not know which shift you will be placed on until you are done with training, and you will move around between all shifts during the course of your training.

Moving around between shifts during training is important because trainees need to have experience with the different types and volume of calls that come during different times of the day / days of the week.

Thereafter, annual shift bidding applies. This is based on seniority as well as agency need at the time.

How long does training take?

This can vary for each individual. On average, it takes approx. 9-12 months until you complete training in the first two disciplines: Call-Taking and Police Dispatching.

Once Police Dispatch training is complete, the trainee is then assigned a shift to work as a Call-Taker and Police Dispatcher, and become eligible for annual shift / vacation bidding. Fire Dispatch training will come later as training for this discipline is required, but does not happen as frequent as Call-Taking and Police Dispatch training. All training is paid.

I have used marijuana in the past year. Does that disqualify me?

No marijuana use within 30 days of completing the online application on GovernmentJobs.com. Please refer to our Selection Standards. There you will find more details on potential disqualifications for previous drug use.

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