Public Safety Dispatcher I/II

  • City of Palo Alto
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Dec 17, 2023
Full Time Dispatch and Telecommunications Public Safety
  • Salary: $98,571.20 - $120,993.60 Annually USD

Job Description


We invite you to start an exciting career in a fast-paced

environment where you make an impact on the lives,

of people who live, visit, and work in the City of Palo Alto.

Why be a Public Safety Dispatcher for the City of Palo Alto?
This unique and exciting role as a Public Safety Dispatcher for the City of Palo Alto is a distinctive variation of dispatching emergency and non-emergency equipment and personnel in response to calls for service including Police, Fire, Ambulance, Utilities, Public Works, and Animal Control services, in a state-of-the-art 911 dispatch center!

Qualities of a Successful Public Safety Dispatcher
  • Are you highly motivated and able to find creative solutions?
  • Are you a strong communicator with a skill set to remain calm in stressful situations and elicit pertinent information?
  • Are you people-oriented with excellent interpersonal skills?
  • Are you able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment?
  • Are you able to apply your excellent computer skills to new state of the art technology?
If you have what it takes to become a successful Public Safety Dispatcher, we invite you to step up and answer the call! Bilingual candidates are highly encouraged to apply and will receive language incentive pay upon successful completion of a language test.

What You Will Need
  • Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate the possession of the following knowledge skills and abilities which would typically be acquired through:
Public Safety Dispatcher I/II
EDUCATION: High school graduate or GED, and
  • Ability to type into a computer terminal at the rate of 35 words per minute.
  • Ability to clearly read, write and spell in English.
  • Ability in projecting a clear, distinct speaking voice.
  • Ability to distinguish and interpret meaning of colors on video display terminals.
  • Ability to successfully complete 18-month probationary period.
  • Ability to successfully complete the P.O.S.T. Basic Dispatch Academy within one year of hire date.
  • Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) certification from a City accredited EMD program required within one-year probationary period.
Public Safety Dispatcher II
EXPERIENCE: One year of public safety dispatching experience comprised of law enforcement or fire service dispatch responsibilities.

CERTIFICATE: Possession of a California P.O.S.T. Public Safety Dispatcher Basic Certificate and experience with emergency medical dispatching and computer-aided dispatching are preferred.

For a complete job description please click on the links below.
Public Safety Dispatcher I job description
Public Safety Dispatcher II job description

READY TO APPLY? Please complete the following steps:

  • For Public Safety Dispatcher I
    • Candidates must take the CritiCall test. Palo Alto Police & Fire Communications will provide a link to take the CritiCall test for those applicants meeting the job requirements. This test may be completed at your home, business, or other location. A computer with speakers and Internet access is required. The test takes approximately 1.5 - 2 hours to complete. You will be provided 2 opportunities to take the exam. If you are unsuccessful, you will be disqualified from the selection process.

  • For Public Safety Dispatcher II
    • Candidates who have one year of public safety or fire dispatch experience within the previous five years, you may proceed with applying. You will not need to complete the CritiCall or POST test. If you do have scores from either of these assessments, please include them with your application.
  • Submit Application
  • Criticall link will go out to qualified applicants via email
  • Qualified applicants will have 2 weeks to complete Criticall
  • PHS will go out to applicants that passed the Criticall
  • Successful applicants will have 2 weeks to complete PHS
  • Department to review PHS to determine who gets invited to an interview.
  • Successful candidates will be notified of interview times & date options. Panel interviews will take place on a rolling basis.
*While we will try our best to maintain active communication with applicants, applicants will be notified on an ongoing basis on next steps, based on position availability and department staff schedules.

  • For the Public Safety Dispatcher I candidates, if you have taken The Basic Dispatch Academy Class and passed, you can apply for the Public Safety Dispatcher 1 position.
  • For the Public Safety Dispatcher II candidates, you can proceed to the application process.
If you are already a Public Safety Dispatcher at a Police or Fire agency in California with your Basic P.O.S.T. Dispatcher certificate and at least one year of experience in the previous 5 years, you will be considered for the Public Safety Dispatcher II level.

The City of Palo Alto offers its employees a generous benefit package, featuring family medical coverage, retirement, life insurance, plus 12 paid holidays per year.

  • Participation in a Governmental 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Fully paid employee and dependent Dental Plan
  • Fully paid employee and dependent Vision Plan
  • Fully paid Life and AD&D insurance equal to annual salary
  • Flat Rate City paid medical contribution which may allow employees to select a fully paid health plan
  • Fully paid Life Insurance equal to one-times annual salary
  • Voluntary Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Long Term Disability plan
  • 12 annual paid holidays
  • Two to five weeks vacation annually depending on years of service per MOA
  • 96 hours annual sick leave
  • Direct Deposit
  • Flexible Spending Account for Healthcare and Childcare expenses

Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS)
  • 2% at60 formula for Classic Employees
  • One-year final compensation for 2% at 60 employees
  • 2% at 62 formula for New CalPers Members
  • Three-year final compensation for 2% at 62 employees only
  • Retiree Medical benefits for employee and dependents after 10 years of service

Please note: The City does not participate in CA State Disability Insurance (SDI) or Social Security.Since they City does not participate in SDI, City employees are not eligible to claim against the State's Pregnancy Disability Leave or Paid Family Leave programs.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

Palo Alto, California United States View Map