911 Communications Calltaker

The County of San Mateo, Office of Public Safety Communications is looking for positive, professional, mature, enthusiastic, flexible and responsible individuals for 911 Communications Calltaker positions.

911 Calltakers perform a variety of telephone and computer aided operational duties in performing call taking of law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical dispatch (EMD) calls, and other public service agency calls including non-emergency and business-related calls. 

911 Communications Calltaker is an entry level classification. It is distinguished from 911 Communications Dispatcher I in that latter also performs radio responsibilities in addition to call taking. Additionally, the incumbent in the 911 Communications Dispatcher I is expected to learn the more difficult or responsible duties typically assigned to the position in the next higher class of 911 Communications Dispatcher II. In order to promote to the 911 Communications Dispatcher Series, incumbents in the 911 Communications Calltaker classification must apply for the position when it is available and successfully pass recruitment and examination for said position.

To be considered for this position, you must have:
Completed the POST Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery (POST Dispatcher Test) with a minimum T-score of 48 within one year of date of application OR taken and passed the 'CritiCall' exam within one year of date of application. All applicants are responsible for obtaining and submitting their own test scores at the time of application.   For candidates seeking a local resource for testing, please contact The South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium (The Academy) at www.theacademy.ca.gov and self-enroll to take the required test prior to applying for this position. Test dates are limited so please contact The Academy as soon as possible.

South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium 
San Mateo, CA:  650-574-6466
San Jose, CA:  408-270-6458
Please note, you must register online at www.theacademy.ca.gov for a test session.

NOTE: The Dispatch Academy certification does NOT satisfy the testing requirement.

For more information about the County of San Mateo Office of Public Safety Communications, visit our website at https://911dispatch.smcgov.org/.


Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is a minimum of one year experience with customer service contact.

Knowledge of:

  • English language, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Customer service and interpersonal communications principles.
  • Computer operation and use in office and Communications Center environments.
  • Basic principles in communicating by means of face-to-face contact, telephone and/or data terminals.
  • Various resources within the County in order to provide referrals to the public and public safety agencies.

Skill/Ability to:

  • Speak, read and write English clearly.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, in English, both orally and in writing.
  • Comprehend, interpret, relay and document information via telephone, computer software/ data terminals or other related technology.
  • Screen and interpret general data and filter relevant information.
  • Learn and operate Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Systems and other related technology.
  • Read and interpret various mapping devices and relaying pertinent information.
  • Work under pressure, exercising good judgment and common sense while making sound decisions in emergency situations.
  • Perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Listen, understand and relay of information via telephone and in person.
  • Remain calm and controlled under stressful periods while projecting a professional demeanor.
  • Establish and maintain positive and courteous working relationships with customers, the community and co-workers.
  • Work with the Communications Center team while maintaining assigned job responsibilities and duties.
  • Anticipate and adapt to fluctuating workloads in the Communications Center.
  • Communicate and receive constructive feedback and opinions to affect change.
  • Access and refer to information using available resources.
  • Read, interpret, understand and follow written and oral instructions and/or information.
  • Remain seated for long periods of time.
  • Read and interpret text/data on electronic screen or computer printouts and variety of maps.
  • Hear in a noisy environment while communicating via telephone or face to face.

Other requirements of the position:

  • Successfully complete a pre-employment medical examination and be subject to polygraph testing.
  • Follow strict drug use standards and guidelines.
  • Possess good moral character and psychological suitability as determined by a thorough background investigation, including fingerprinting and psychological evaluation.
  • Be willing to work day, swing, graveyard, rotating, holiday, and weekend shifts.
  • Be willing to work 12 to 16 hours per day.
  • Be willing to accept overtime assignments, including last minute spontaneous mandatory assignments.


Anyone may apply. Proof of completion of either the POST Dispatcher Test with a minimum T-Score of 48 OR passing scores on the "CritiCall"exam within the last year must be attached at the time of application. Responses to the supplemental questions must also be submitted. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required application materials.

Applications for this position will only be accepted online. The original posting for this job opening can be found at:


At the County of San Mateo, we welcome and celebrate the diversity of our employees, and strive to create a workplace where they feel valued every day. 


County of San Mateo is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.