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Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications table at a job fair.
The Bureau of Emergency Communications is a team dedicated to helping community members in Multnomah County.
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Recruitment

Our next recruitment will open in the summer of 2024.  Stay tuned for more updates. 

Come talk to us in person at these upcoming events: 

  • Public Safety Career Fair March 15, 2025, 10AM-3PM at Camp Withycombe 15300 SE Minuteman Way, Clackamas, OR 97015
  • ​​​​​​​Women in Public Safety Sunday March 16, 2024, 10AM-2PM at the Portland Police Training Division 14912 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97230

Hiring Process

ApplySubmit your application on the PortlandOregon.gov website once the job opens for recruitment.  No resume or cover letter needed for entry level positions. We will get to know you through the supplemental questions which we review at the interview step.
Typing TestWe are responsible for capturing information and relaying it to our partners quickly.  To be successful, you need to type 40 words per minute accurately with 90% accuracy. 
CritiCall TestThis is an online test where we look for underlying skills and abilities important for the work. The test involves components such as memorization, map reading, and reading comprehension. 
First InterviewsMeet with our panel of experts, which includes an emergency communications supervisor and a dispatcher.
Second InterviewsThis is an opportunity for our training manager and training supervisor to get to know you more. This is your chance to ask questions about the job.
Personal History QuestionnaireThis is our background phase and reference check. This is a thorough dive into your qualifications, where we verify criminal history, education, employment and other life events.
Psychological AssessmentA formal interview with a psychologist to assess your ability to remember what you see and what you hear, and discuss how you might deal with the stresses of the work.
Medical TestingThis includes a vision, hearing and drug screening. 

Qualifications

  1. Possess a high school diploma or GED. 
  2. Pass a background and psychological assessment. 
  3. Type 40 Net Words Per Minute (wpm) with 90% accuracy.
  4. Be at least 18 years old at the time of hire.  

Training Process - New Hires

Most of the people we hire have no experience with emergency communications. To help you be successful, we provide a comprehensive paid training program before you work on own. Our full-time paid training includes: 

  • Classroom learning with hands-on computer training 
  • Simulation exercises, study and practice time 
  • Assigned experienced coaches to guide you while taking live calls and dispatching responders 
  • Daily performance feedback to track your progress 

Your first 12 weeks are spent in a classroom at the Communications Center in Southeast Portland. The remainder of training is spent on the job with a coach as you move toward working independently. At some point during the first year, new trainees must also attend three weeks of classroom training at Department of Public Standards and Training (DPSST) in Salem.  

Training to Become a Senior Dispatcher

The Emergency Communications Dispatch Trainee training program will prepare you to perform the three functions of a Senior Dispatcher: 

  1. Call Taking - Processing 911/non-emergency calls from the public 
  2. Police Dispatch - Assigning calls for service to Police responders  
  3. Resource Dispatch - Assigning calls for service to Fire, ambulance, and mental health responders 

Dispatchers play a vital role for emergency responders by providing updates over the radio as emergencies evolve. Dispatchers also send help to responders (such as more police officers, more fire suppression equipment, and additional ambulances, etc.). This work is fast-paced and requires quick thinking and problem solving.   

Training to become a Senior Dispatcher takes approximately two years. Pay raises are built into the program. See Wages. 

Lateral Dispatch Positions

If you have current or recent experience as a Police Dispatcher for another agency and you want to continue in this rewarding career, consider applying for the Emergency Communications Lateral Police Dispatch Trainee position. We value your experience and welcome you to Portland. This position starts at a higher rate of pay and includes the same great training. New to the area? Our full-time paid training program features geography classes to help you learn major landmarks, roadways, rivers, parks and so much more.    

Training for Lateral Police Dispatch Trainee includes Call Taking and Police Dispatching. Once certified, Police Dispatchers have a promotional opportunity to train as a Senior Dispatcher. 

Work Hours 

The common schedule for employees is 4 x 10, or four 10-hour days in a row, with three days off in a row. Employees are not required to come to work on their days off. However, employees must be prepared to work mandatory overtime, which could be two hours before their shift or two hours after their shift. Employees are not required to work more than 12 hours in one work day. 

New hires typically work Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM for the first 12 weeks of classroom training. After that, trainees are paired with a coach for on-the-job training and assigned to the same shift as their coach. Trainees rotate every few months to new coaches and shifts, providing exposure to differing call types and work loads.

Shift Schedules

Most 24 hour/7 day per week schedules have morning, swing and night shift. Not at BOEC. Our shifts start every two hours throughout the day, giving employees more opportunities to have a schedule that works for them.  

The following is an example of 10 shifts offered every six months:

Early Morning Shift: 5:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Morning Shift: 7:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Mid Morning Shift: 9:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Late Morning Shift: 11:00 A.M. - 9:00 P.M.
Early Afternoon Shift: 1:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.
Afternoon Shift: 3:00 P.M. - 1:00 A.M.
Evening Shift: 5:00 P.M. - 3:00 A.M.
Late Evening Shift: 7:00 P.M. - 5:00 A.M.
First Nights Shift: 9:00 P.M. - 7:00 A.M.
Second Nights Shift: 11:00 P.M. - 9:00 A.M.

Schedules are built around start times (above) and weekends (three-day blocks): Mon-Tue-Wed off; Tue-Wed-Thur off; Wed-Thur-Fri off; Thur-Fri-Sat off; Fri-Sat-Sun off; Sat-Sun-Mon off; Sun-Mon-Tue off.   

After certification, employees sign up for their shift and vacation schedule every six month, based on seniority. Newer Senior Dispatchers typically work evenings/nights hours with weekdays off. Our bureau is growing, so employees gain seniority quickly!  

(Twelve-hour rotation-shift options are also often available based on the number of total employees. It's complicated but we're happy to explain it.) 

Wages for 2023-2024

Classification - TraineeEntry12 months18 monthsCompletion of Training
EC Dispatch Trainee$30.32$33.44$35.09$36.98
Classification - TraineeEntry1 Year2 Years3 Years4 Years
EC Lateral Police Dispatch Trainee$33.44$35.10$36.86$38.69$41.41
Classification - CertifiedEntry1 Year2 Years3 Years4 Years5 Years
EC Dispatcher Senior$36.98$38.84$40.78$42.81$44.95$48.12
StatusPercentAdditional pay
Full-Time Coach16.0%Full Shift - All hours worked
Longevity Pay2.0%Full Shift - All hours after 9 years of service
Shift Differential2.0-4.0%For working afternoon or night shift hours

Benefits

Full-time employees are eligible for health coverage, which includes medical, dental, vision, and life insurance coverage the first day of the next month following their hire date.   

Other benefits include: 

  • Paid Vacation 
  • Paid Sick Leave 
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Insurance (Spouse, Domestic Partner, Children) 
  • Basic Long-Term Disability Insurance 
  • Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan 
  • Dependent Care Assistance Plan 
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 

For more details, see the City of Portland Jobs Page.

Public Employees Retirement System (PERS/OPSRP)

BOEC employees are included in PERS/OPSRP system.  For more details, see the City of Portland Jobs Page.