911 Call Taker

Recruitment #2307-6367-001


Public Safety Communications Department (PSCD) is a busy communications center located in Tucson, AZ. PSCD serves as the city's emergency communications center in which calls such as 311, non-emergency, and emergency calls are processed. The Public Safety Communications Specialist I- Trainee position is a role that serves as the first line of communication between the community and services such as Police, Fire, and other city departments. The Public Safety Communications Specialist I- Trainee is responsible for providing critical information to police and fire dispatchers and ensuring service requests are sent to appropriate city departments and resources for non- emergent calls for service.

Applicants please consider the following job elements before submitting an application:

  • This is a very rewarding and satisfying career for many, as it provides a way to help others in our community.
  • The department is a 24-hour, 7-day per week operation including weekends, overnights, and holidays.
  • The training process is up to 10 months. It consists of a classroom training environment as well as on-the-job training with a trainer as support.
  • Probationary period is 12 months.
  • Training includes 311/customer service, non-emergency, and emergency call taking.
  • Opportunities for career advancement.
  • May occasionally be required to work over-time.
  • There are various shifts including 8, 10, and 12-hour shifts that are based on seniority
  • Incumbents will answer highly sensitive calls and receive confidential information.
  • Attendance and reliability are of the utmost importance.

General Description

A Public Safety Communication Specialist I- Trainee (Operator) will learn to assess incoming calls for triaging to other city departments (311), other emergency departments (PSAPs), and process emergency 911 calls for service for Police and Fire/EMS. Upon qualification of all roles, non- emergency (including 311) and emergency, the Public Safety Communications Specialist I-Trainee will be classified as a Public Safety Communications Specialist I.

This classification is a civilian trainee that works in the Public Safety Communications Center. Training is provided in-house and may take up to 10 months; additional training may be required to reach full performance. Employees in this classification may advance to other classifications within the Department. Per Civil Service Rules and Regulations, this position has a 12-month probationary period.

Essential Functions

Answers, evaluates, and prioritizes incoming and outgoing telephone calls including but not limited to non-emergency calls (including 311), emergency 911, administrative, “hot lines,” Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), calls from hospitals, various city departments, partner agencies, and general public inquiries.  

Answers multi-line telephone lines: asks questions to determine caller's need and location; verifies and obtains event information; determines the need for service requests for city departments, or provides instructions for pre-arrival of law enforcement, Fire, and/or EMS services.


Performs interactive law enforcement, fire, and medical communication duties with members of the public and users of the 911 and 311 system. 

Interacts with emergency communications centers/PSAPs to facilitate and coordinate public safety response for services; transfers calls based on jurisdiction.  

Receives, coordinates, and disseminates critical information from and to multiple sources/resources based on published protocols and defined standards.    

Maintains confidentiality; enters data; performs clerical duties; completes projects and training. May operate as a communications trainer by instructing and monitoring new personnel, completing written training evaluations, updating training manuals; and scheduling classes, certifications and ride alongs. 

This class performs related duties as assigned. The duties listed above are intended only as general illustration of the various types of work that may be performed. Job descriptions are subject to change by the City as the needs of the City and requirements of the job change.  

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum Education Level & Type: High School Diploma or GED

Minimum Experience Qualifications: No Experience

Special Job Requirements

Ability to type 35 Net Words Per Minute (NWPM)

Preferred Qualifications

Experience working as an emergency 911 operator or dispatcher

Fluent in more than one language

Selection Plan

You are highly encouraged to print this bulletin because it contains important testing dates and information that you will need to refer to later, and it will not be available after the closing date.

Applicants who successfully complete an employment application, meet minimum qualifications, and successfully complete the background application within five (5) days of the job bulletin closing will be invited to the practical assessment. Applicants who have not completed the background application will not move forward in the recruitment and all applicants must meet Arizona Criminal Justice Information Systems (ACJIS) standards.  The highest scoring applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will receive an email notification giving a formal invitation to the practical assessment.  

Practical Assessment    

The practical assessment will be the week of 10/9/2023.

This assessment will consist of two parts performed on the same day.  Part I is a typing test which measures typing speed.  Part II utilizes computer software to simulate a public safety communication environment.  

Oral Board  

Applicants passing the Practical Assessment will be invited to complete an Oral Board the week of 10/16/2023.  

Those that successfully complete the oral board will be considered for the Public Safety Communications Department. A candidate ranking on the Employment List will be based on their final score which will be calculated as:

  • 5% of Training and Experience
  • 15% of the rating for Practical Exam
  • 80% of the rating for the Oral Board

Hiring interviews may be conducted.

The candidates selected for hire from the Employment List may be subject to the following:  An extensive background investigation, including local, state and national criminal fingerprint checks, personal and professional references, medical pre-employment testing, and polygraph. 


Veterans, Native American, or Disability preference points will be added to the achieved score for those that are placed on the Civil Service Employment List.  If you qualify for Veteran or Native American preference points as outlined in your Employment Profile, you must submit your documentation at the time of the Oral Board interview or email it to Copies of DD214s must reflect a characterization of service.


Applicants requiring an accommodation in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act for any of the applicant evaluations must contact Derrick Snyder at at least 48 hours prior to the particular evaluation.

Pre-employment Medical Testing Requirements

Long Audio Test

Non-NIDA Drug Test

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To ensure accurate payroll information for tax purposes, the successful candidate will need to provide their original Social Security Card or original letter from the Social Security Administration with their social security number prior to beginning work with the City of Tucson.

The City of Tucson hires lawful workers only - US citizens or nationals and non-citizens with valid work authorization - without discrimination. Federal immigration laws require all employers to verify both the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States. In its efforts to meet the law's requirements, the City of Tucson participates in the E-Verify program established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to aid employers in verifying the eligibility of workers.

Retired City of Tucson employees receiving benefits from the Tucson Supplemental Retirement System who are considering reemployment with the City should be aware that pursuant to Section 22-37(g) of the Tucson City Code, retirement benefits shall be suspended during the period of reemployment with the City of Tucson unless you have been separated at least twelve consecutive months before returning to work AND you return to a non-permanent employment classification. Creditable service does not accrue during any reemployment period.