911 - Emergency Communications - Employment

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Benefits of Employment with the 911 Center 

  • On the job training 
  • College Credits - Free MCC College Credits toward Associates in Public Safety Communications accumulated in the first year of employment while on the job training. 

  • Dispatchers earn 40 College Credits, Telecommunicators earn 21 College Credit

  • Medical Coverage - no monthly premium for a family (City pays 100%)

  • Vision / Dental Coverage – low monthly premium
  • Life Insurance
  • NYS Retirement
  • 14 paid Holidays
  • 10 to 25 paid vacation days per year (depending on years of service)
  • 4 days Personal Leave (after 1 yr. of employment)
  • 12 Sick days per year
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Shift Trading Availability
  • Overtime 
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Uniform Allowance
  • Tuition Assistance Benefit
  • Employer Assisted Housing Program

Hiring Process

Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications are required to take a Civil Service examination. Candidates who pass will be placed on an eligible list and may be canvassed by mail. In the pre-employment process candidates will undergo a State and national criminal history background investigation which will include a fingerprint check to determine suitability for employment, a medical evaluation, and a drug test. A psychological evaluation will also be administered prior to any formal offer of employment or appointment as an employee at the 911 Center. Those hired are chosen from the candidates who have successfully completed all stages. Candidates remaining on the eligible list may be canvassed at a future date as vacancies occur. We offer continuous recruitment.

We're always looking for good people. If you're interested, please visit the City's employment page to see what opportunities are available.  For more information, call the 911 Center at 585-528-2200 or contact via email at: Join911@monroecounty.gov.  A member of the recruitment team will be back in touch within 24 hours. 

911 Job Traits

911 Telecommunicators answer all 911 calls, which include emergency, and non-emergency calls for police, fire and emergency medical services. They determine the appropriate call types and course of action based on the nature of the calls. Telecommunicators then enter information into the computer and relay it to the dispatchers.

Telecommunicator Traits
There are numerous traits that a Telecommunicator must possess in order to function well here at the ECD. These traits include:

  • Ability to think quickly
  • Ability to work under stressful conditions
  • Clear speech
  • Hearing accuracy
  • Ability to listen carefully
  • Visual acuity
  • Ability to deal with the public and user agencies
  • Ability to remember oral and written instructions
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time
  • Ability to write clearly and spell correctly
  • Typing skills or keyboard familiarity
  • Ability to interface with the computer
  • Ability to remain calm while dealing with frightened, hysterical or angry callers

911 Dispatchers

911 Dispatchers monitor radio frequencies, set priorities among incoming events and dispatch the appropriate agency to necessary locations using both radios and computers. They keep accurate status of exact location of equipment and personnel by maintaining radio contact. Dispatchers also serve as 911 Telecommunicators.

  • Dispatcher Traits
    Today's dispatcher is, in fact, an information processor. That requires more than just sending and receiving messages. Effective dispatching also demands:
  • Listening
    Dispatchers must do what is difficult for most people: actively listen. Dispatchers devote their total energy and concentration to understanding the meaning (what is said and what is meant may not always be the same) of the words and sounds at the other end of the radio. The dispatcher's personal attitudes and feelings have no place in emergency communications.
  • Questioning
    Dispatchers ask questions to determine where, what, who, how, why and what should/can/might be done in a multitude of circumstances, circumstances in which the message sender often assumes erroneously that the answers are obvious.
  • Clarifying and Verifying.
    Dispatchers make sure answers to questions are clear, complete and precise. If an answer is "far", the dispatcher wants to know how far. If an altercation is at "the door", the dispatcher wants to know which door - and "how many doors are there?". The dispatcher knows that action based on incomplete or inaccurate information may be inappropriate or dangerous.
  • Prioritizing
    Dispatchers establish priorities of importance in seeking and passing on information and directing and coordinating action. There may not always be time to obtain or to send all the relevant data, so the most essential information is obtained and/or transmitted first. There may also not always be enough officers or equipment to handle all the calls concurrently, so the dispatcher makes judgments as to the order in which action should be taken.
  • Organizing, Coordinating and Directing
    Dispatchers often organize action, determine who goes where and when and who is responsible for what. In the course of action, they may coordinate activities of various people and units. Anticipating and Compensating Dispatchers understand and anticipate the many ways in which misunderstanding may occur. They compensate for other people's existing and potential confusion, lack of information and lack of understanding.
    Integrating. Dispatchers remember random, often seemingly unrelated bits of information for future reference. They integrate potentially useful data from files and other sources into current situations.
  • Empathizing
    To handle all their responsibilities skillfully, dispatchers are able to identify with the ways others may perceive situations; to look at events through the eyes of others; to relate information in context other people will understand and visualize correctly.

Training at 911

Most employees of the Rochester-Monroe County Emergency Communications Department begin their careers as either Telecommunicator (TCC) or Public Safety Dispatcher (PSD) trainees.

Secondary OperationsThe TCC trainees begin by attending an Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) approved 30 day course intended to immerse the student in the 911 center and its policies. It also familiarizes them with the basic functions of the job. They are given a basic outline of what is expected of them by the City and taught basic phone answering skills, interview techniques and general customer service. They are also instructed in Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), the system that aids the TCC and Dispatchers in entering and prioritizing calls for Police, Fire, and EMS dispatch.

The classroom starts out by the trainees meeting each other and getting acquainted with the building and their new surroundings. As the first week progresses they are familiarized with the equipment and start to learn the rules and regulations. We follow the APCO course outline. We augment and enhance the course with our style and how we do things at the ECD. During the second and third weeks the students are familiarizing themselves with the policies and procedures of the ECD through our intensive training program that will earn them college credit at Monroe Community College.

This, combined with role playing and watching a seasoned veteran operate makes for an exciting training period. During the last week, time is spent with the other students simulating and entering events into a test system so they can get the feel of what it's like to do the job. They also listen to old calls and enter information from those to further their learning experience. After this they are ready to go and meet with their first round trainer to get on-the-job experience.

After the thirty day classroom training the operators are assigned to a trainer. The trainer is an experienced ECD employee; one who understands the policies and procedures of the department plus is familiar and comfortable with the intricacies of the job. New trainees will stay with the trainer for approximately 30 days then rotate between 2 more trainers for a total of 60 more days. Depending on how the trainee is doing they may be certified to work by themselves after a second round or if there is a need for further training they may go into a fourth round.

A Public Safety Dispatcher I receives the same training as a TCC with the exception of only going on for one round of phone training. Following this first acquaintance with the 911 phone system the PSD trainee goes back into class for another month to learn the skills needed to work either the police, fire or EMS frequencies. The classroom training for a PSD is very intense. In class the trainee learns radio procedure (the rules and regulations set up by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that we must observe at all times), police, fire or EMS procedures, all the applicable policies and procedures for the eleven police agencies that we serve. They also learn about the networks that link all the agencies in the county, state and country together and how to use them to assist a police officer when needed. After the month of class training, the PSD is assigned to a trainer, following the same pattern as the TCC: 1 month per trainer, usually a total of 3 months in training on the operations floor

The Public Safety Dispatcher II is a multiple discipline dispatcher. While in the classroom the PSD II brings their knowledge of either police or fire/EMS procedures and supplement that with cross training on the discipline they need to perform any operational duties while working at 911. For example, if a PSD I (Police) successfully completes the promotional PSD II exam, then the training will encompass all fire/EMS details or vice versa. PSD II (Fire/EMS) trainees expand their knowledge of FCC rules about radio transmission and CAD skills that are important to their new job duties.