Public Safety Telecommunicator

Bloomsburg, PA
Columbia County Sheriff

Salary: $16.76.

Position Summary:

Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs) serve as the vital communications link between the public and emergency
services, by efficiently responding to emergency (9-1-1) and non-emergency calls for service. PSTs receive, triage,
prioritize, and document all calls for service for police, fire, and emergency medical services, provide guidance and
assistance to the public in life-safety situations, and coordinate appropriate response to high-risk, high-stress
operations. PSTs must be able to function independently to maintain control of distressing, traumatic, emotional,
and confusing situations, while obtaining and relaying information through telephone, radio, and other computer
aided dispatch equipment.

Essential Functions:

  • Answer emergency (9-1-1) and non-emergency telephone lines, obtain information, prioritize and confirm the
    locations of emergencies, as well as independently determine appropriate action for processing all incoming calls for service, to include relaying pertinent information to the appropriate public safety response unit (police, fire, and/or emergency medical services/EMS) or providing callers with the appropriate information or referral.
  • Perform emergency medical dispatch functions and provide pre-arrival instructions to callers.
  • Operate and monitor two-way radio channels, telephone systems, computer aided dispatch (CAD) displays and other related sophisticated communications equipment systems, while efficiently gathering, prioritizing, and documenting caller information.
  • Process requests and make appropriate referrals on a broad variety of public safety matters, that often require referring to or memorizing detailed reference materials and standard operating procedures, including databases, maps, telephone listings, and other resources.
  • Accurately document and summarize critical information for public-safety first-responders in the computer aided dispatch system using correct grammar and spelling, and refer and classify calls for police/fire/EMS assistance according to the level of response required.
  • Access and operate multiple computer systems, including local and state database systems to verify information; systems to locate existing or prior warrants, protective or other orders and/or officer safety information and effectively communicate this information to officers; and the PA Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (NCIC/CLEAN) system, including, but not limited to, persons, vehicles, drivers, guns, articles and Computerized Criminal Histories files to query, enter, modify, clear, and cancel data.
  • Compose and/or send various teletypes or comprehend and process correctly those received.
  • Receive requests by radio, phone, electronic format, or fax from law enforcement personnel to access, enter,
    retrieve, and disseminate motor vehicle records, stolen property records, wanted persons records, and criminal history files utilizing local, state and national database systems; prioritize and effectively relay information in proper format to requesting agency; contact outside public service divisions as requested and relay information as required.


  • Basic computer operation, including Microsoft Windows-based software, and adequate keyboarding/typing.
  • Basic math skills.
  • Basic English speech, comprehension, and spelling.
  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Participate in and satisfactorily complete extensive training on policy and procedure and multiple computer systems.
  • No criminal convictions or indictments of felony or misdemeanor charges or any computer crimes and be free of a criminal history which would prohibit successfully obtaining PA State Police NCIC/CLEAN operator certification.