Kitsap 911 Employment FAQs

A trainee is the first step to becoming a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. Once hired, a new Public Safety Telecommunicator Trainee attends a few weeks in a in-house academy to learn basic knowledge necessary to answer/process emergency and non-emergency 9-1-1 calls. Upon successful completion of the academy, trainees begin approximately 4 months of on-the-job call taker training. Once a trainee completes their call taker training, they are promoted to a Telecommunicator I. From there, dispatch training begins and once that training is complete, employees are promoted to a Telecommunicator II (911 Dispatcher).

A call taker speaks with the person who has dialed 9-1-1 and a dispatcher speaks with the emergency personnel in the field. The call taker and dispatcher work together, using computer and radio systems to share information instantly and seamlessly. Both jobs can be high-intensity and stressful at times.

Each trainee is assigned to a trainer, working that trainer’s schedule. Trainees may work with several trainers. During that time, trainees receive daily performance reviews to ensure they are aware of their performance and any additional training needs. Once training is complete, shifts are assigned based on the needs of the center.

At Kitsap 911 we understand that people have a variety of learning styles and not everyone progresses in their training at the same speed. Not only do we want our new employees to be successful in their initial training, but we also want our career employees to continue their successes.

In 2024, the wage scale for a Telecommunicator II is $38.13 – $52.44 per hour. There are many ways to earn extra pay, including becoming a trainer, lead, or even an assistant supervisor or supervisor. We have many career advancement opportunities at Kitsap 911. Additionally, we have a generous benefit and retirement program – more information here.
Kitsap 911 generally has 3 academies per year with 4-6 people in each academy. A regular selection process takes approximately 4 months from the date you apply until the first day of academy. You can sign up to receive text message reminders of any upcoming requirements during the selection process!
The skill-based and behavioral tests are designed to evaluate typing speed, critical thinking skills, multitasking, and aptitude needed to work in a public safety emergency dispatch center. There is no preparation needed prior to testing as all materials and instructions are provided during testing.

After successful completion of testing, candidates can expect a panel interview, a background investigation, an interview with our director, and medical testing, including hearing, vision, drug, and a psychological exam.

There is no cost to applicants for the testing.

We are a 24/7 operation. The work environment is casual, yet professional. However, due to the nature of the position the shifts are sedentary with periods of high stress, multi-tasking, and downtime. The position demands excellent communication skills and an individual and team approach to problem solving throughout the shift. To mitigate the effects of a high-stress and sedentary work environment, Kitsap 911 offers many ways for our employees to unwind, including a quiet room, an on-site gym, and music on the operations floor.

Telecommunicators work shift work, including weekends and holidays, and are expected to complete their assigned shifts regardless of personal commitments (i.e. birthday parties, anniversaries, etc.). Preapproved absences are allowed. Attendance is critical to the operation of the center and the community we serve.

If you are selected as a trainee, your first few weeks will be in a classroom setting Monday-Friday. The actual days and times are subject to change depending on the training needs.

Since we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, it is necessary to have a variety of day, swing, and night shifts. Telecommunicators bid for their shifts annually in October for the following year. Shifts are bid based on seniority, which means our newer employees may not get the shift they prefer. Telecommunicators generally work 10-hour shifts that rotate with 4 days on/4 days off then 4 days on/3 days off. Currently shift times start every two hours starting at 0500 and ending at 0100.

Overtime hours are mandatory and are available on a voluntary basis depending on the needs of the center.

The Public Safety Telecommunicator job can be stressful at times, and we have many resources to support our employees such as peer support, incident debriefings with local fire and law enforcement agencies, and a comprehensive employee assistance program.