911 Dispatch Position

South Sound 911 - 911 Call-Taker & Dispatcher



The information herein is provided by the respective agency and is only as accurate and as up-to-date as the agency representative(s) update this information. PST is not responsible for the veracity of this data as it is provided directly from the agency. It is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to verify any information about the agency with the agency.

South Sound 911 - 911 Call-Taker & Dispatcher

Last updated on April 09, 2024
PST Partner Agency since November 27, 2013

Vacancies: 4

Testing Deadline: June 02, 2024.

Important Information

***The next hiring class is slated to begin employment in Spring 2024. We will begin next steps early 2024.***

South Sound 911 is continuously hiring for positions within our 911 communications division. If you are interested in being considered, please select us as an Agency to receive your testing scores. Please complete the Dispatcher Written Exam AND your Personal History Statement (PHS) by the listed deadline to be considered for our next hiring class.After this deadline, testing scores will be considered for the following hiring class.

For more information, visit https://southsound911.org, or attend our next Recruiting Academy Informational Session on a future date TBD. Check our website and social media outlets for more information.

Community Information

Our service area is geographically diverse and demanding. Pierce County is the second most populous county in Washington state and a hub of international travel and commerce – via the Port of Tacoma, the largest transportation corridor in the state (Interstate-5), Puget Sound, its proximity to the Canadian border, and its position as a Pacific Rim state. It is also a major part of the state’s military core with Joint Base Lewis-McChord located within the county. 

Pierce County’s 1,790 square miles include a forested mountain range with the largest active volcano in the Pacific Northwest (Mount Rainier), several major earthquake faults, 217 miles of Puget Sound saltwater shorelines, and a 2,400-acre port facility.

Department Information

Today, South Sound 911 is recognized as an expert in building police and fire dispatch interoperability. The agency operates a regional 911 center in Pierce County which answers over 1 million emergency and non-emergency calls annually for 19 law enforcement and 19 fire/EMS agencies. All 4,591 South Sound 911-funded new public safety radios are in use, and in 2021 the agency completed construction of its new state-of-the-art facility in Tacoma. There, South Sound 911 consolidated all of its operations and administrative services under one roof.

South Sound 911 currently employs approximately 280 personnel, many of whom work various shifts to provide 24-hour service for 911, dispatch, and records.

Job Description


As part of South Sound 911 Law Enforcement Services, and under the direction of the Communications Supervisor, this position performs complex and responsible work in the Emergency 911 Communications Center processing citizen’s 911 and business calls by screening calls, recording information and transferring calls as appropriate for law enforcement, fire and medical aid services under emergency conditions in an accurate and timely manner; provide routine information and assistance to the public, various law enforcement agencies and other City and County agencies. This position requires ongoing multitasking ability, and use of discretion and judgment.

This position does not have supervisory responsibility. Communications Officers are expected to work independently in a variety of tasks and ask for assistance/clarification from the Communications Supervisor when questions/concerns arise.


Serve as primary communication link between the law enforcement agencies and citizens of Pierce County, operating within the established procedures and policies of the Law Enforcement Agencies served. Answer calls and questions with a clear, well-modulated and pleasant voice. Answer incoming calls on emergency and non-emergency lines; determine type of service or information required; obtain and process required information and transmit to appropriate dispatcher according to established guidelines and procedures for priority or emergency calls; initiate requests for services for routine calls received.

Work under stress with accuracy in a calm and efficient manner, accurately recording pertinent information into computer aided dispatch (CAD) system simultaneously. Respond to situations in a positive and efficient manner. Process more than one call at a time.

Communicate with citizens, various police agencies, and various other agencies to provide and receive information and services as requested or required; provide excellent customer service.

Provide training and orientation to new employees; assist coworkers as necessary when available; work in a team environment. Attend meetings or training during shift or on overtime as directed.

Prepare a variety of reports such as general police reports, supplemental reports; 911 trouble reports and others as required; prepare various forms as required.

Operate a variety of communication equipment such as personal computer, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software, telephone system, (ALI) Automatic Location Identifier, (ANI) Automatic Number Identifier, TDD, and playback recorder.

Enter and update a variety of detailed information into the computer terminal including the nature and location of calls received and premise histories; prepare and maintain various logs, listings, schedules and files; testify in court as required.

Work overtime on a volunteer basis or assigned and mandatory to cover staffing needs. There is more overtime during vacation and/or illness periods and during seasonal workload peaks. May include both extended shift or work on scheduled day(s) off. Range of overtime per payroll period could be 0 to 36 hours.

Area Information

County: Pierce
Population: 843,954
# of Staff: 280

Hiring Status

South Sound 911 - 911 Call-Taker & Dispatcher has 4 vacancies.

The deadline to test for the next hiring cycle is June 02, 2024.

South Sound 911 is continuously hiring for positions within our Communications divisions.  If you are interested in a career with South Sound 911, please select our agency to receive your testing scores.

Veterans - you may apply your education and training benefits toward the approved 911 Call-Taker and Dispatcher On-the-Job training programs at South Sound 911.

Salary Information

Pay scale information:

911 Telecommunicator 1 (TC1) – $33.11 - $40.26/hr

*Fire Dispatcher – $31.50 – $40.11/hr

*Law Enforcement Dispatcher – $36.53 – $44.40/hr

*not an entry -level position - must complete TC1 training prior to eligibility/consideration for this position

Benefit Information



VACATION LEAVE: Employees receive 96 hours of vacation per year initially. Vacation leave accrual increases occur on an employee's anniversary date.

SICK LEAVE: Employees receive 96 hours of sick leave per year.

HOLIDAYS: Employees receive 104 hours paid holidays.


MEDICAL COVERAGE: Choice of four medical plans which include prescription drug coverage for the employee and their dependents. Employees choosing the AWC HealthFirst $250 Plan or Kaiser Permanente $200 deductible plan pay a monthly contribution amount of $40 for employee only and $80 for family coverage. South Sound 911 pays the remaining monthly premium.

South Sound 911 will pay 100% of the premiums for both employees and dependents electing one of the High Deductible Health Plans and contribute $2,400 for an individual and $4,800 for a family annually into an employee Health Savings Account (HSA). Employees will also be able to contribute to their HSA.

In addition, all South Sound 911 employees covered by another medical plan may be eligible to participate in the Opt-Out Program. In order to be eligible, the employee must certify that he/she and any qualifying dependents are covered on another medical plan. Employees approved to participate in the Opt-Out Program shall receive a monthly distribution of $500 to a qualified 457 deferred compensation plan. These contributions will apply to the annual maximum deferred contribution limits. Employees may only apply for the Opt-Out Program during open enrollment or at initial hire. Determination of eligibility shall be at the sole discretion of South Sound 911.

VISION: Vision coverage is offered through VSP for the employee and their dependents. South Sound 911 pays the monthly premium.

DENTAL COVERAGE: Choice of two dental programs for the employee and their dependents. South Sound 911 pays the monthly premium.

LIFE INSURANCE AND LONG TERM DISABILITY: South Sound 911 provides an employer paid life insurance benefit of 1x annual salary for all full time employees. Supplemental life and supplemental spousal life insurance are available at the employee’s expense. Employees also receive employer paid long-term disability coverage. The waiting period for long-term disability coverage is 180 days and payment is at 60% of the employee's monthly salary.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: ComPsych is anEmployee Assistance Program offered to South Sound 911 employees and their families

For AWC specific benefit questions, you are welcome to contact AWC Employee Benefit Trust at 1-800-562-8981 or 360-753-4137, email: benefitinfo@awcnet.org website:www.awctrust.org.

WELLNESS PROGRAM: South Sound 911 offers several fun and engaging wellness activities throughout the year. For information about the South Sound 911 Wellness Program, please contact Gracie Burkhart atgracie.burkhart@southsound911.org or 253-287-4808.


OTHER INSURANCE: Short Term Disability and other insurance options are available through AFLAC at the expense of the employee.

RETIREMENT: South Sound 911 employees participate in the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS). PERS Plan 2 is a defined benefit plan and PERS Plan 3 is a defined benefit plan that includes a member-funded defined contribution component. Employees new to PERS will select PERS Plan 2 or PERS Plan 3 within 90-days of initial hire. New hires who were previously PERS members will complete new enrollment and beneficiary forms upon their transition to South Sound 911. Those who are PERS 3 plan members will have the opportunity to elect a new contribution rate during their initial hire with South Sound 911. For more information on retirement plans, please visit www.drs.wa.gov or call 360-664-7000.

SOCIAL SECURITY REPLACEMENT PLAN: South Sound 911 makes contributions on behalf of all eligible employees to a 401(a) Social Security replacement plan, in addition to contributions made by the employee. Employer and employee contributions mirror Social Security, which are 6.2% of wages up to the annual Social Security Wage Base maximum.

DEFERRED COMPENSATION PROGRAM: South Sound 911 employees have access to a deferred compensation program through Mission Square. Quarterly one-on-one meetings with a retirement plans specialist from Mission Square are made available to employees at the work site.

PAY PERIODS: South Sound 911 has 26 payroll periods. Pay dates occur every other Friday and checks are deposited via direct deposit.

Have additional benefit or payroll questions? Please contact Gracie Burkhart, Payroll and Benefits Manager at 253-287-4808 or gracie.burkhart@southsound911.org.

South Sound 911 - 911 Call-Taker & Dispatcher Requirements

Category Requirement Required at time of...
    Test Hire
Written Examination Yes, required
Typing Test Yes, required

The typing test is a critical component of your written test score and you are required to complete the online typing test within 90 days (before or after) your written exam. You will be allowed four (4) attempts at the typing test every seven (7) days and are responsible for selecting the score that you want PST to forward to the agencies you have applied with.

35 WPM; 90% Accuracy

Minimum Age 18
US Citizen/Lawful Permanent Resident Eligible to work in the U.S.
High School Grad/ GED Yes
Felony Conviction(s) as an Adult Reviewed and considered on a case by case basis
Felony Conviction(s) as a Juvenile Reviewed and considered on a case by case basis
Ability to Read & Write the English Language Must be able to communicate fluently in English.
Vision Requirements Ability to see computer monitor, depth perception, color vision.
Multiple Scores from Same Applicant We only consider the most recent score
Request/Access Scores On an as-needed basis as vacancies occur
Dispatch Typing Test 35 WPM; 90% Accuracy

Contact Information

South Sound 911 - 911 Call-Taker & Dispatcher

3580 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98418 Pierce County


Agency Test Requirements
Written Examination: Yes, required
Typing Test: Yes, required

Other South Sound 911 positions

Records Specialist
LATERAL Dispatcher & 911 Call-Taker
Data Dispatcher