Emergency Communications Dispatcher

CITY OF RICHLAND   Richland, WA   Full-time     Call Center / Customer Service
Posted on May 23, 2023
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Do you want to help your community be a safer place to live?

Do you enjoy problem solving at a fast pace?

Do you want a recession proof career that offers a pension plan?

If so, this career might be right for you!

Starting base salary: $26.95 per hour

Maximum base salary: $35.78 per hour

As part of the public safety team, you will get to become a hero in your community. The successful candidate will contribute to the safety and welfare of fellow emergency responders and the citizens of both Benton and Franklin counties.

Dispatching is often compared to being an Air Traffic Controller – very stressful. Being one of the first, first responders is both challenging and rewarding. Part of our training is to learn to cope with that stress and take care of ourselves.

Some types of calls we deal with (and are trained to handle) include:

  • Routine calls of crimes not occurring at the time of the call.
  • Call of crimes occurring during the time of the call.
  • Calls from people who are intoxicated, hysterical, irrational, confused, demanding, or screaming at you, people threatening suicide, having a minor or serious medical issue, victims of violent crimes, or reporting a lost child or a lost animal.
  • Use technology and interview skills to determine callers location should they be unable to provide it.

There is no way to cover everything an Emergency Communications Dispatcher does every day – every day is something new and usually exciting. We encourage you to arrange for a voluntary sit-in with a dispatcher to let you see what this job really entails. If you would like to learn more about this position, visit our website here.

Additional information can be viewed in our Hiring Brochure and Hiring Standards.


  • High school diploma or GED.
  • One (1) year of customer service experience involving substantial customer interaction in a fast-paced environment.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Outlook and Word.
  • Data entry skills with speed and accuracy; ability to type 35 wpm with accuracy.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Prior successful experience in a fast-paced and multi-tasked public contact environment (e.g. medical intake, bank teller, server, or barista) or a public safety communications environment.
  • Knowledge of Benton and Franklin County streets, locations, and landmarks.
  • Excellent oral communication skills to include a clear and confident speaking voice with good diction.
  • Demonstrated background providing excellent customer service with tact, patience, and courtesy while maintaining a calm and professional demeanor with callers who may be verbally abusive, emotionally upset, uncooperative, or frightened.

Final candidate(s) selected will be required to successfully complete and pass a comprehensive background/reference process to include: job suitability assessment, integrity interview, fingerprinting, polygraph, psychological evaluation, and a pre-employment physical examination (including drug/alcohol screening) commensurate to the position.