Please post any questions you may have in the comments below and I would be happy to answer them :)
911 Operator and Emergency Dispatcher Background Check
Following the testing and interview, the selection committee will choose the most promising candidates and conduct background, and health checks on them. These background checks vary amongst agencies, with higher levels of security clearances being required for police dispatch. Some agencies also require psychological testing conducted through interviews with a forensic psychologist and a written personality profile. Generally, advanced background and psychological testing is used for security reasons in hiring for police departments, whereas ambulance and fire services conduct simpler background checks that include criminal background checks and driver’s abstracts, etc. Your job offer may also require passing a physical assessment. In 9-1-1 employment, these physical assessments are typically very simple and consist of testing eye sight, hearing and basic movements of your hands and arms to ensure that you can sit and type on a keyboard.
911 Operator and Emergency Dispatcher Interviews
9-1-1 Operators must successbully pass pre-employment testing and interviews. The following explains typical expectations of a 9-1-1 Communications interview.
The interviews are generally the candidate facing a panel of 3-9 interviewees comprised of a Communications Supervisor, Communications Manager, a representative from HR, and more.
Candidates will be asked a series of 5 - 9 behavioual interview questions. The candidate will generally be given 10 minutes to answer each question. There are specific strategies, formula and techniques used to get perfect scores in the interview phase. Consider hiring a consultant who specializes in 9-1-1 Communications to assist you with this very important evaluation. Melissa Taaffe, 9-1-1 Career Coaching
Guided Access: Lock your iPhone while a video is playing.
Have you ever given your iPhone or iPad to a child so they can watch a video and they end up emailing nonsense to your boss? Do you let your toddler watch Wiggles while waiting at the doctor’s office and they keep clicking out of the video, causing a scream-fest? Did you know that you can lock apple devices into certain apps (video players, educational games, etc) so that the child can only use that one app? And even better, you can lock that one app so that children can’t access all of the controls in it. Its done through the Guided Access function and here’s a brief how-to guide.
First you will spend a few minutes setting up Guided Access, and then you can turn it on or off with the click (well triple-click) of a button.
To set up guided access, tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access and turn Guided Access “on.” Enter a passcode for Guided Access. There are a few additional options under this menu as well.
To start using Guided Access, open the app you want to use. Triple-click the Home button to open Guided Access. You can then choose from several options to disable, but to simply lock out a video screen, turn off the “Touch” and “Motion” options. Then tap Start. You're all set! The screen is now locked and will not respond to touching, clicks or change orientation if turned upside down.
To end Guided Access, triple-click the Home button and tap “End.”
Note about frozen screens: I have been using Guided Access on multiple devices with only one problem thus far. Once, on an older iPhone, the screen froze in Guided Access. The video continued to play, but the iPhone was unresponsive to the triple-click. The only way I’ve found out of this situation is to reset the device by holding the Home button and the On/Off button together for 10 seconds.
Please consider sharing this post if you believe it would be helpful to the sanity of others.
Initial 9-1-1 Call Processing
When a citizen dials 9-1-1 in North America, the phone is answered by an Emergency Communicator. This person is working for the CERB (Central Emergency Response Bureau), also known as the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point.) These CERBs or PSAPs are often operated at the regional police department.
Typically, this operator will answer the line with an identifying phrase and directory question such as, “9-1-1. Do you require police, fire or ambulance?” Based on the caller’s response, the operator will transfer the call to the appropriate dispatch service. In some areas, one agency will act as the CERB and dispatch police, fire and ambulance. In other areas, there are separate dispatch centres for each emergency agency.
When applying for positions as an Emergency Dispatcher, keep in mind that there are likely 3 separate dispatch centres (police, fire and ambulance) for each area. Check out the free job board at 9-1-1 Professor for opportunities.
There are many different titles for Emergency Communicators. The career who's main objective is to answer 9-1-1 and emergency phone calls may be referred to as: