San Mateo County

911 Communications Calltaker (20107619)

San Francisco/Peninsula
$5,054.00-$6,316.00 Monthly

Please review the special instructions before applying for this job opportunity.


County Center Redwood City, 94063


The County of San Mateo Office of Public Safety Communications is looking for positive, professional, mature, enthusiastic, flexible, and responsible individuals for 911 Communications Calltaker positions.

Have you always wanted a career in public safety? Do you want to contribute to the community and our public safety partners in a positive and significant way? The 911 Communications Calltaker position may be the one for you! This highly valued position will fulfill your calling, and if desired, can assist in preparing you for promoting to a 911 Communications Dispatcher I.

911 Calltakers perform a variety of telephone and computer aided operational duties in performing call taking of law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical dispatch (EMD) calls, and other public service agency calls including non-emergency and business-related calls, all while receiving on the job paid training.  While working side by side with 911 Dispatchers, you will have unlimited opportunities to enhance your skills in order to be the best you can be or we will help you if your goal is to pursue a career in dispatching.

911 Communications Calltaker is an entry level classification. It is distinguished from 911 Communications Dispatcher I in that latter also performs radio responsibilities in addition to call taking. Additionally, the incumbent in the 911 Communications Dispatcher I is expected to learn the more difficult or responsible duties typically assigned to the position in the next higher class of 911 Communications Dispatcher II. In order to promote to the 911 Communications Dispatcher Series, incumbents in the 911 Communications Calltaker classification must apply for the position when it is available and successfully pass recruitment and examination for said position.

Rarely will you ever get a chance to meet the hundreds of people who call for help, yet they'll depend on your voice, your directions, and your knowledge to get through an emergency. No day is ever routine - one call may be a minor traffic accident, while the next is a frantic voice screaming for help. Both will be depending on your calm, firm voice and direction until help can arrive. Using state-of-the-art equipment and training, you'll provide the excellent service and security people have come to expect from San Mateo County Public Safety Communications.

 To be considered for this position, you must have:

  • Completed the POST Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery (POST Dispatcher Test) with a minimum T-score of 48 within one year of date of application.  All applicants are responsible for obtaining and submitting their own test scores at the time of application.   For candidates seeking a local resource for testing, please contact The South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium (The Academy) at and self-enroll to take the required test prior to applying for this position. Test dates are limited so please contact The Academy as soon as possible.

South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium

 San Mateo, CA:  650-574-6466

 San Jose, CA:  408-270-6458

Please note, you must register online at for a test session.
NOTE: The Dispatch Academy certification does NOT satisfy the testing requirement.

Test results from other training organizations will be accepted so long as the test administered is the POST Dispatcher Test and it demonstrates a minimum T-score of 48.

For more information about the County of San Mateo Office of Public Safety Communications, visit our website at:

Examples Of Duties:

Employees in this classification are trained in, and perform the following;

  • Receive business or emergency calls for law enforcement, fire, medical and other public service agencies.
  • Prioritize telephone workload, screen calls for the purpose of gathering information to determine nature of call, perform call classification, determine priority, jurisdiction and document activities.
  • Read, operate, translate, document and transmit data related to Communications Center technology such as automated mapping, text to 911, Telecommunications Device for Deaf (TDY), and other associated public safety systems.
  • Initiate and follow prescribed Communications Center specific protocols, either in manual or automated systems.
  • Develop and foster a positive working rapport with direct and in-direct customers, the public and co-workers.
  • Testify in court regarding legal proceeding related to dispatch call(s) received.
  • Prepare and submit various reports such as incident reports.
  • Develop and maintain working knowledge of highways, streets, buildings and major points of interest in the County and adjacent areas.
  • Remain current on procedures for manual dispatch operations and communications Center evacuation.
  • Provide off hours services as required.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.



Education and Experience: Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is a minimum of one year experience with customer service contact.

 Knowledge of:

  • English language, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Customer service and interpersonal communications principles.
  • Computer operation and use in office and Communications Center environments.
  • Basic principles in communicating by means of face-to-face contact, telephone and/or data terminals.
  • Various resources within the County in order to provide referrals to the public and public safety agencies.

 Skill/Ability to:

  • Speak, read and write English clearly.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, in English, both orally and in writing.
  • Comprehend, interpret, relay and document information via telephone, computer software/ data terminals or other related technology.
  • Screen and interpret general data and filter relevant information.
  • Learn and operate Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Systems and other related technology.
  • Read and interpret various mapping devices and relaying pertinent information.
  • Work under pressure, exercising good judgment and common sense while making sound decisions in emergency situations.
  • Perform multiple tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Listen, understand and relay of information via telephone and in person.
  • Remain calm and controlled under stressful periods while projecting a professional demeanor.
  • Establish and maintain positive and courteous working relationships with customers, the community and co-workers.
  • Work with the Communications Center team while maintaining assigned job responsibilities and duties.
  • Anticipate and adapt to fluctuating workloads in the Communications Center.
  • Communicate and receive constructive feedback and opinions to affect change.
  • Access and refer to information using available resources.
  • Read, interpret, understand and follow written and oral instructions and/or information.
  • Remain seated for long periods of time.
  • Read and interpret text/data on electronic screen or computer printouts and variety of maps.
  • Hear in a noisy environment while communicating via telephone or face to face.

 Other requirements of the position:

  • Successfully complete a pre-employment medical examination and be subject to polygraph testing.
  • Follow strict drug use standards and guidelines.
  • Possess good moral character and psychological suitability as determined by a thorough background investigation, including fingerprinting and psychological evaluation.
  • Be willing to work day, swing, nights, rotating, holiday, and weekend shifts.
  • Be willing to work 12 to 16 hours per day.
  • Be willing to accept overtime assignments, including last minute spontaneous mandatory assignments.



Anyone may apply. Proof of completion of the POST Dispatcher Test with a minimum T-Score of 48 within the last year must be attached at the time of application. Responses to the supplemental questions asked on the online application must be provided. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required application materials.
Applications for this position will only be accepted online. If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the 'Apply' button. If you are not on the County's website, please go to to apply.  All exams will be given in San Mateo County, California, and applicants must participate at their own expense.

At the County of San Mateo, we welcome and celebrate the diversity of our employees, and strive to create a workplace where they feel valued every day.

County of San Mateo is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.