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Public Safety Telecommunicator (911 Dispatcher) Sample Questions

For the purposes of this test, the mission of a 911 Dispatcher is:

“Be the first link in assisting members of the community by receiving calls, gathering info and assessing customer needs. To obtain sufficient information from a caller to initiate a response from the appropriate public safety agency while dealing with sensitive information in a discreet and professional manner.”

Interest & Willingness Samples:

This questionnaire lists working conditions which you must accept to become a dispatcher. Some people find dispatching is not for them because of one or more of these conditions. Successful dispatchers find these work conditions acceptable; some even enjoy these conditions.

Use the following scale to show which statement best describes you:

  1. I would enjoy this work condition and/or it clearly describes me.
  2. I am willing to accept this work condition.
  3. I am not willing to accept this work condition.

1. Actively listen and retain information
    A. Would Enjoy
    B. Willing
    C. Not willing

2. Attentive and aware of what is going on around you
    A. Would Enjoy
    B. Willing
    C. Not willing

3. Learn from prior experiences and apply those experiences
    A. Would Enjoy 
    B. Willing
    C. Not willing

Self-Rating Checklist Samples:

The following checklist has pairs of statements which describe people. In some cases you may feel that both statements describe you, but we want you to choose from the two items in each pair, the one which best describes you.

1. A. Able to interact with the police department
    B. Willing to take responsibility for your decisions

2. A. Willing to do things without being told
    B. Able to sit for long periods of time

3. A. Is computer literate
    B. Willing to learn new things

4. A. Willing to be part of the solution not the problem
    B. Able to interact with the fire department

Critical Incident Sample Questions:

This test is a select sample of situations which dispatchers must be capable of handling. Each item represents an actual situation that a dispatcher either excelled or failed in the performance of the job. These situations are intended to be gender neutral. This test exposes you to those situations which make a significant difference in a dispatcher’s job performance and effectiveness. Your choice of action reveals your readiness and potential to perform as a 911 dispatcher.

1. You have just received a 911 hang-up call. When you call back, you talk with a female that sounds odd but says everything is fine. While listening to her talk you hear a male voice in the background. How would you handle this situation?

     A. Ask the female caller again if everything is okay.
     B. Ask the female caller if anyone else is present.
     C. Dispatch police to the scene just to make sure everything is alright.
     D. Ask a series of yes or no questions to obtain more information to know how to respond.
     E. End the call since she said everything was fine.

2. You have observed a new dispatcher continue to make mistakes and the situation is becoming increasingly frustrating for both you and the new dispatcher. How would you deal with the new dispatcher?

     A. Encourage the new dispatcher and let her know things will get better.
     B. Tell the new dispatcher to ask for additional training.
     C. Discuss the situation with your supervisor.
     D. Discuss the situation with the person who trained the new dispatcher.
     E. Ask the new dispatcher if you can help and spend some extra time with her.

3. You have just received a call from a child. His grandfather has collapsed and is non-responsive. The child is on a cell phone and is unfamiliar with the area. How would you handle this situation?

     A. Tell the child to go and find help.
     B. Ask the child questions in regards to his grandfather’s condition or status.
     C. Ask the child if there are any adults in the area you can talk to.
     D. Ask the child if there are any nearby landmarks that he can see or knows of (i.e. restaurants,
         parks, signs, buildings, etc.).
     E. Ask your co-workers for assistance and advice.


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Vancouver, WA 98687