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Cowlitz County 911 - Communications Officer/Dispatcher

  • Contact Information

    Cowlitz County 911 - Communications Officer/Dispatcher
    312 SW 1st Ave
    Kelso, Washington 98626
    Phone: 360-577-3081
    Department Website

Agency Added: 02/25/2014 | Last updated: 01/09/2019

Community Information

Cowlitz County is located 20 minutes north of Portland, Oregon adjacent to Interstate 5 and the Columbia River, within two hours of Pacific Coastal Beaches, skiing at Mt. Hood and Rainier. Many outdoor activities open year round include wind surfing, hang gliding, mountain climbing, hiking, surfing, fishing and hunting.

Department Information

Cowlitz 9-1-1 is building a new 911 Center and increasing staffing levels.  Cowlitz 9-1-1 is currently seeking qualified applicants to join our team of professional 9-1-1 Dispatchers.  Our agency receives and relays emergency and non-emergency requests for police, fire and medical services utilizing radio, telephone and computer equipment. Information is received and transmitted in a timely and accurate manner to emergency responders. The duties of the position, in addition to dispatching and coordinating emergency resources, include general clerical tasks to ensure adequate files of incident records are maintained. Dispatchers must calmly relay lifesaving emergency medical instructions to frantic or upset callers.  Dispatchers provide call receiving and dispatch services for five fire agencies, one private ambulance, and six police agencies.  Cowlitz 9-1-1  also provides some after hour answering and dispatch services for a variety of government departments. Staff work closely with cross county, state, and national Public Safety Professionals.  (Filling (5) Dispatch Positions).   

Beginning 2015 all 9-1-1 dispatch staff will rotate days off to provide all employees an opportunity to enjoy weekends and weekdays off throughout the year. 

All employees are required to work days, nights, swing, graveyard, weekends, weekdays, and scheduled or short notice voluntary/mandatory overtime shifts.  

Area Information

  • County: Cowlitz
  • Population: 103,000

Agency Requirements:

Category Requirement Required at time of..
Test Hire
Minimum Age 18 years old. X  
US Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident Must be able to provide proof of citizenship or legally authorized to work in the U.S. during the background investigation.   X
High School Grad/ GED Must provide proof of high school diploma or GED during the background investigation.   X
Driver's License Required Must provide proof of a valid driver's license during the background investigation.   X
Felony Conviction(s) as an Adult A criminal record is not an automatic bar to employment. Convictions of moral turpitude, violence, and drug convictions will disqualify applicant. X  
Felony Conviction(s) as a Juvenile A criminal record is not an automatic disqualifier for employment. Convictions of moral turpitude, violence and drug convictions will disqualify applicant. X  
Ability to Read & Write the English Language Applicants must be fluent in English; they must clearly speak,write and read the English language. X  
Vision Requirements A final job offer will be made pending the applicant passing a vision screening.   X
Other Applicants must type a minimum 35 WPM with 90% accuracy rate..

Applicants will be required to successfully pass the following, an interview, criminal and personal background investigation, psychological exam, CVSA, pre-employment drug test, physical capacity test, hearing and vision test by time of hire.

Applicants must sign an agreement they are willing and able to meet all conditions of employment, and agree to the terms of the supplemental self-evaluation questionnaire by time of hire. vision test by time of hire.

The Personal History Statement (PHS) is required and must be completed and uploaded into your Public Safety Testing account within 7 days after your test.

This agency does not allow out of state testing.
Multiple Scores from Same Applicant We consider all the scores from the same applicant    
Request/ Access Scores On an as-needed basis as vacancies occur    

Agency Disqualifiers:


Category Disqualifier
Automatic1 or more traffic crime convictions in last 3 years (DWI, Suspended, Reckless, etc).
AutomaticSuspension of driver's license within past 3 years.
Automatic3 or more moving violations in past 3 years.
Automatic3 or more at-fault accidents in past 3 years.
Drug Usage
AutomaticIllegal use of ANY controlled substance while employed in a criminal justice capacity.
AutomaticIllegal opiate use.
AutomaticHallucinogen use within past 7 years. No more than 3 uses total.
PotentialOther drug use outside these standards will be considered on case by case basis.
AutomaticNo illegal sale of ANY drug, including marijuana.
AutomaticIllegal use of dangerous drugs or narcotics, other than marijuana, for any purpose more than 6 times in lifetime, and no use within the past 7 years.
AutomaticAny pattern of illegal narcotics, or prescription medication in the past seven years, or extensive use over a lifetime, including any distribution of a controlled substance.
Criminal Activity
PotentialAdult misdemeanor convictions will be carefully reviewed.
PotentialJuvenile felony conviction will be carefully reviewed.
AutomaticUnlawful sexual misconduct.
Automatic2 or more terminations, or leaving employer in lieu of termination.
AutomaticWithdrawn from consideration for any (law enforcement/fire/corrections/dispatch) employment because of the following reasons: Dishonesty.
AutomaticBeen dishonorably discharged from the United States armed forces.
AutomaticLied during any stage of the hiring process.
AutomaticFalsified his or her application, personal history questionnaire, or any other forms during hiring process.
AutomaticPrevious revocation or denial of (CJTC/POST) certified status, or suspension of current (CJTC/POST) certified status.
PotentialCurrent credit accounts, or unresolved accounts in collection will be carefully reviewed.

Current Hiring Status

Number of Current Vacancies: (2)

Salary Information

Training $3,255 salary - FTE (step 1. $3,458), four annual step increases following step one. Salary range $3,255 - $4,419 

Benefit Information

Full benefits package, medical, dental, orthodontia, life, vision, prescription and HSA options. Paid holidays;vacation;sick; employee assistance program, Washington State Department of Retirement (PERS). Voluntary benefits: flex spending, life and accident insurance, deferred compensation.

Work Schedule:  Annual shift selection by seniority, employees rotate days off each quarter to provide all employees an opportunity to enjoy weekends and weekdays off throughout the year. 

Work Schedule includes 24 hour operations, days, nights, weekends, holidays, voluntary and mandatory overtime, must be available for a variety of work hours, shifts, and work days throughout the year.