City of Astoria
  • 23-Nov-2020 to Until Filled (PST)
  • Dispatch
  • Astoria, OR, USA
  • 22.66 - 27.55
  • Hourly
  • Full Time

Full Benefits: Health, Vision, Dental, HSA, PERS, Life, LTD, AD&D, Vacation, Personal, Sick Leave & Holiday Pay


If you are interested in the Communications Operator position and DO NOT meet the minimum qualifications below, please watch our website for entry level Communications Operator openings.


Come live, work and play in an area rich with history, heritage and natural resources. Located about 90 miles west of Portland, the City of Astoria was founded in 1811 and is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Anchored where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, the unparalleled natural beauty of the town and surrounding area draw tens of thousands of visitors a year. 

Visitors and residents enjoy access to the 6.4 mile Astoria Riverwalk which takes you along a paved journey through industrial, urban and natural environments. Occasionally you can catch a glimpse of the River Pilots climbing up the side of a cargo ship to navigate it down river. Outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy the close proximity to hiking trails, biking trails, beaches and mountains. In addition to Astoria's offerings, we are a short drive away from coastal recreation destinations such as Long Beach, WA and Seaside, OR.

The surrounding area is also known for its excellent selection of local breweries, eateries and shops. Pop culture fans will instantly recognize Astoria for its role in numerous movies including The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop and Short Circuit.


Astoria Dispatch is one of two Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP's) in Clatsop County. The second PSAP is located in the City of Seaside within the Seaside Police Department. Clatsop County has a land area of 827 sq. miles with a water area of 257 sq. miles. The full-time resident population in the County is 36,798 (59% urban, 41% rural). Though the full-time resident population seems low, year-round tourism can bring the population total to over 100,000. 

Astoria Dispatch answers roughly 80,000 calls a year, of which approximately 13,000 are 9-1-1. From these calls Astoria Dispatch creates approximately 45,000 calls for service in the Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) system. Another 10,000 calls are received for service by other agencies such as Oregon State Police and the Coast Guard who do not subscribe to Astoria Dispatch. 


An employee in this class is responsible for performing quick, efficient, and accurate dispatching of calls and messages with public safety units and personnel in the field.  For this and other duties, standard operating procedures are provided and extraordinary situations may be referred to the duty Sergeant.  Supervision is not normally a responsibility of positions in this classification although direction may be provided to junior or temporary operators.  Work is performed under the supervision of the Operations Supervisor. Performance is monitored by the Operations Supervisor through observation, periodic monitoring and the review of activity records.

The training period for this position typically lasts 6-8 months. Depending on the training you come to our department with, it may be necessary to attend 3 weeks of training in Salem at the Department of Public Standards training academy in addition to a 3 day Emergency Medical Dispatch course. There is a one year probationary period.


  1. Receives incoming emergency and non-emergency telephone calls. Emergency can be complex and require the call receiver to use appropriate de-escalation and interviewing skills to gather necessary information before dispatching appropriate resources such as law enforcement, fire or ambulance.
  2. Monitors radio frequencies for all assigned jurisdictions and maintains two-way communications; keeps shift Sergeant and other supervisors informed of emergency situations and overall activity.
  3. Operates Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) Computer terminal and responds to fields requests for information on persons and property; calls up wants and warrants, checks vehicle registration and driver's license data and obtains criminal history summaries and reports of stolen vehicles and items.


  • Enters appropriate call/complaint information into Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) records; maintains other departmental logs, forms, indexes and files related to the dispatch function.
  • Monitors security cameras and fire alarms as well as Public Works Department telemetry system (water/sewer equipment) and notifies designated person(s) in the event of signal or malfunction.
  • Answers general information questions from the public.
  • Monitors teletype messages and prepares summary of activity during shift.
  • Issues case numbers and performs routine clerical work.
  • Maintains punctual, regular and predictable attendance.
  • Works collaboratively in a team environment with a spirit of cooperation.
  • Displays excellent communication skills including presentation, persuasion, and negotiation skills required in working with coworkers/public and including the ability to communicate effectively and remain calm and courteous under pressure.
  • Respectfully takes direction from Emergency Communications Manager, Operations Supervisor and Lead Dispatcher.
  • Other duties as assigned.


This position does not have any supervisory responsibilities.


Ability to perform essential job duties with or without reasonable accommodation and without posing a direct threat to safety or health of employee or others. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  1. Two years of general clerical, technical or administrative experience preferably in an emergency service; or any equivalent combination of experience and training that demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the described duties.
  2. Possession of a valid Basic Certificate in Telecommunications or Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) in the State of Oregon, or possession of within the past five years. 
  3. One year of continuous experience as an emergency communications dispatcher with a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) having successfully completed the probationary period. 


  1. Associate's degree (A. A.) or equivalent from two-year college or technical school.


Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.  Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.  Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization. 


Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.  


Has advanced basic computer job skills including logging on to systems, ability to communicate by email, ability to compose documents, enter database information, create presentations, download forms, and preserve/backup important data. Skills in typing and operation of standard office machines; operation of two-way radio; computer keyboard and use of database and word processing; multiple phone lines.


Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form. Ability to demonstrate innovative thinking and make necessary decisions and solve problems pertaining to 911 dispatching and training with minimal supervision.                     


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and reach with hands and arms.


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. Police Department employees hired after December 1, 1996 must refrain from the use of tobacco products while on duty.  This is a condition of employment.


  • Voluntary semi-annual bonus for qualified physical fitness tests 
  • Intermediate and Advanced Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) certificates pay premiums
  • Communications Training Officer assignment and pay premium
  • Lead Dispatcher assignment and pay premium
  • Senior Communications Operator pay premium
  • Stability Pay 


Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Selected candidates would need to pass oral board interviews before a contingent job offer would be presented and comprehensive background check would be conducted. The background check includes a Personal History Questionnaire, Records Check, Investigation, Psychological, Medical & Hearing Exams, and a Drug Screen.  

THIS JOB ANNOUNCEMENT IS ONLY FOR CANDIDATES WITH RECENT DISPATCH EXPERIENCE. Candidates without the necessary experience and certifications will not be considered or contacted. If you are interested in an entry level position, please watch our website for openings:

If you have any questions, please contact City of Astoria Human Resources at

City of Astoria
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