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How to Become a 911 Dispatcher in Clackamas County, Oregon

If you want to become a 911 operator in Clackamas County, you must complete a number of steps:

Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment in Clackamas County
Complete the Employment Application Documents and Pass the Pre-Employment Testing Process
Complete New Dispatcher Training

The Clackamas County Department of Communications, also known as C-COM, provides both emergency and non-emergency call and dispatch services to the public within Clackamas County, which includes the following 15 agencies:

  • Sandy Police Department
  • Sandy Fire District
  • Oregon City Police Department
  • Molalla Police Department
  • Molalla Fire District
  • Hoodland Fire District
  • Gladstone Police Department
  • Gladstone Fire District
  • Estacada Fire District
  • Colton Fire District
  • Clackamas Fire District #1
  • Clackamas County Sheriff
  • Canby Police Department
  • Canby Fire District
  • Boring Fire District

 


 

Step 1. Meet Minimum Requirements for Employment in Clackamas County

Before applying for a 911 dispatcher (communications dispatcher) job, you must ensure you meet the minimum requirements for employment. You must be at least 18 years old, you must possess a high school diploma or GED, and you must have no felony convictions.

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You must also be able to provide written verification of at least 115 net keystrokes per minute. You can obtain typing speed verification through most employment agencies.

Candidates with computer skills, the ability to adapt to new technology, and knowledge in CPR and first aid are desirable candidates.

You may also choose to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in a number of related fields, as a degree may prove to be extremely useful in this profession, particularly when seeking advanced, supervisory positions. Some of the common degree programs for 911 operators include:

  • Communications
  • Public Safety
  • Homeland Security
  • Criminal Justice
  • Emergency Management

 


 

Step 2.  Complete the Employment Application Documents and Pass the Pre-Employment Testing Process

The first step to becoming a 911 operator in Clackamas County involves completing the online employment application and the Statement of Personal History. The application and Statement of Personal History can be mailed to:

Clackamas County Communications Department (C-COM)
Attn: Mary Broughal
2200 Kaen Road, Suite A
Oregon City, OR 97045

You can contact the Department of Employee Services at 503-655-8459 or at jobs@co.clackamas.or.us if you have any questions regarding the application process.

All applicants are assessed on their answers to the screening questions on the application, and only those candidates who meet the requirements of the C-COM are considered for pre-employment testing, which includes:

  • Video Job Compatibility Test: Tests candidates in the following areas:

    • Situation judgment
    • Public relations
    • Internal relations
    • Responsibility for officer safety
    • Listening and communication skills
    • Dealing with difficult and stressful situations
    • Analysis, prioritizing and problem solving
    • Recording accurately
    • Dispatching
  • Computer and Multi-Tasking Skills Testing: CritiCall test assesses computer, multi-tasking, and other relevant job skills
  • Department Interview
  • Extensive Background Investigation
  • Psychological Evaluation, Physical Exam, and Pre-Employment Drug Screen

 


 

Step 3. Complete New Dispatcher Training

If you are hired by C-COM as a 911 dispatcher, you must attend an in-house academy, where you will learn the basic knowledge and skills needed to process emergency and non-emergency calls. Training during this period includes lessons on: call control, law enforcement data systems, medical Miranda, and agency policies and procedures.

Upon completion of the academy, you will work with a coach to begin taking 911 and non-emergency calls. You will then advance to training in law and fire dispatch. This part of the training process can take up to one year to complete.

As a new 911 operator, you will be required to obtain and maintain the following certifications:

  • Law Enforcement Data System (L.E.D.S.) Certification
  • Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Certification as a Telecommunicator and Emergency Medical Dispatcher (E.M.D.)
  • Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (C.P.R.) Certification

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