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8238-Public Safety Communications Dispatcher

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Public Safety Communications Dispatcher

Job classification

TitlePublic Safety Communications Dispatcher
Overtime eligibility Covered (Non-Z) - Nonexempt
Labor agreement SEIU Local 1021
Effective dateNovember 16, 2018

Current compensation plan

Effective: Jan 06, 2024

See Historic and future compensation information for this class

Step: Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6
Rate /hr: $51.1625 $53.7500 $56.4250 $59.2375 $62.1875 $65.3000
Rate /biweekly: $4,093.00 $4,300.00 $4,514.00 $4,739.00 $4,975.00 $5,224.00
Rate /year: $106,418 $111,800 $117,364 $123,214 $129,350 $135,824

Job description



Title: Public Safety Communications Dispatcher

Job Code: 8238


Under general supervision, receives incoming telephone calls for 911 police, fire, and medical emergency and non-emergency services, and dispatches public safety personnel units and equipment to respond to calls for service utilizing a two-way radio system, Computer Aided Dispatch system, multiple display terminal and other related equipment; evaluates, prioritizes, documents and directs calls to appropriate resources; maintains two-way communications with police, fire and emergency medical units; exercises considerable judgment in transmitting pertinent information to field units and in dispatching emergency personnel and equipment in accordance with established regulations and procedures; and performs other related duties as required.


This is the entry level in the emergency communications dispatcher classification series responsible for learning and applying methods, techniques and practices in police, fire and emergency medical dispatching. Initially, incumbents work in a training capacity to learn all aspects of police, fire and emergency medical dispatching. As experience accrues, the incumbent performs with increasing independence. This class is distinguished from the 8239 Public Safety Communications Supervisor in that the latter exercises full supervisory responsibilities over staff and the work of the unit.




According to Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job code/class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

1. Receives emergency calls and obtains information to determine facts; evaluates such information to determine what type of response is necessary and dispatches the required police, fire or medical service.

2. Dispatches police, fire and emergency medical personnel and equipment on both routine and emergency calls to specific locations utilizing a Computer Aided Dispatch system, multiple video display terminal, radio console and related equipment.

3. Operates a two-way radio system in communicating with a number of mobile units in the field to receive and transmit emergency service messages and information.

4. Evaluates incoming reports of police, fire and medical emergencies; immediately transmits complete and accurate information to appropriate field personnel.

5. Monitors, coordinates and accurately maintains the status of incidents and records of dispatched emergency service personnel and apparatus.

6. Responds to public inquiries regarding emergency medical service, fire rescue, police assistance, crimes, violations and other offenses; properly classifies and prioritizes any report or complaint information and determines appropriate course of action.

7. Receives and disseminates information from other law enforcement and emergency service computer networks related to jurisdictional requests for fire or medical service assistance, or to notices of wanted persons, stolen property, warrants and all-points bulletins.

8. Maintains record of all calls received and prepares reports of critical incidents.


Knowledge of: Principles, practices and procedures of emergency communications for police, fire and emergency medical dispatching; call evaluation techniques; general geography of city roads, streets, highways, public facilities and buildings; federal and state regulations governing the operation of communications systems for transmitting emergency information and dispatching personnel and equipment; proper office procedures and record-keeping techniques.

Ability and Skill to: Operate a public safety computer system and two-way radio; interpret federal communications and departmental regulations, policies and procedures; speak and write in English, spell correctly and communicate in a clear, concise and understandable manner; memorize names and locations; analyze situations accurately, think and act quickly in emergency situations and exercise sound judgment; work under considerable stress caused by a volume of messages or emergency conditions involving the protection of life and property; work under emergency or austere conditions following a disaster; maintain an effective working relationship with supervisors and co-workers; exercise sensitivity with various members of the public; work weekends, nights, holidays, irregular hours and overtime; and ability to operate a computer terminal at 40 words per minute (net).


These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification. Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

Education: Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent (GED or High School Proficiency Examination).

Experience: Two (2) years of experience in a public contact position providing information and/or a service, or in a position where the primary responsibility is interacting with people.

License and Certification: None

Substitution: Completion of thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units of coursework from an accredited college or university may substitute for one (1) year of the required experience as described above.


Working Conditions: Public Safety Communications Dispatchers work in a fast-paced, highly stressful, and confined environment, wear headsets which restrict physical movement in the work area, and sit or stand and view video displays for extended periods of time. Dispatchers work 8-hour or 10-hour shifts, or longer, and may be assigned to work various schedules which include day shift, swing shift, night shift, weekends, holidays, and overtime. Must be willing and able to respond, report, and mobilize as necessary.


To: 8239 Public Safety Communications Supervisor


AMENDED DATE: 6/30/2016, 11/16/2018

REASON FOR AMENDMENT To accurately reflect the current tasks, knowledge, skills & abilities, and minimum qualifications.


Standard information

Disaster service work

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

Historic and future compensation

Effective (Sched) Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6
Jan 06, 2024 (Y) $51.1625 $53.7500 $56.4250 $59.2375 $62.1875 $65.3000
Jul 01, 2023 (X) $50.0375 $52.5625 $55.1875 $57.9375 $60.8250 $63.8625
Jul 01, 2022 (W) $48.8125 $51.2750 $53.8375 $56.5250 $59.3375
Jan 08, 2022 (V) $46.3750 $48.7125 $51.1500 $53.7000 $56.3750
Jul 01, 2021 (U) $46.1500 $48.4750 $50.9000 $53.4375 $56.1000
Dec 26, 2020 (T) $44.5875 $46.8250 $49.1750 $51.6250 $54.2000
Jul 01, 2020 (S) $43.2875 $45.4625 $47.7375 $50.1250 $52.6250

Historic compensation data is provided in hourly pay.

Sources: San Francisco Open Data Portal: Compensation plan table