Public Safety Radio Dispatcher Trainee -San José Fire Department’s (SJFD)

About the Department 

The San José Fire Department’s (SJFD) core mission is to serve the community by protecting life, property, and the environment through prevention and response.  SJFD is a high-volume, high-performance, all-risk Fire Department that protects approximately 200 square miles including, residential, commercial, high-rise, wildland interface areas, and several high-hazard occupancies.  For additional information visit

Public Safety Radio Dispatcher Trainee: Annual salary rate is $72,966.40 and hourly rate is $35.08

In addition to the salary, employees in the Public Safety Radio Dispatcher Trainee classification shall also receive an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation pay. 

Upon successful completion of training, PSRDTs are eligible for promotion to the Public Safety Radio Dispatcher (PSRD) classification.  The salary range for the PSRD classification is currently $81,036.80 – $98,488.00 per year.



Hiring Incentive Pilot Program:

  • Candidates hired as a Public Safety Radio Dispatcher-TRAINEE on or after February 9, 2020, shall be eligible to receive a non-pensionable lump sum payment of $2,000.
  • Once the Public Safety Radio Dispatcher-TRAINEE is eligible for promotion and enters into the Public Safety Radio Dispatcher classification, the employee is then eligible to receive an additional non-pensionable lump sum payment of $2,000.
  • Once the employee completes their one (1) year probation as Public Safety Radio Dispatcher, he or she will be eligible to receive a final non-pensionable lump sum payment of $2,000.

Please note:

The candidate receiving the incentive would be required to refund the ENTIRE non-pensionable lump sum (up to $6,000) if the employee separates from City employment or accepts another position within the City prior to their one (1) year anniversary of passing probation as a Public Safety Radio Dispatcher.

Further details regarding this can be found in the Municipal Employees’ Federation AFSCME, Local No. 101 union tentative agreement:

This pilot program shall become effective on February 9, 2020 and will expire on June 30, 2021. The City retains the ability to end the Hiring Incentive Pilot Program at its sole discretion prior to June 30, 2021.

Positions & Duties

The SJFD is accepting applications for the position of Public Safety Radio Dispatcher – Trainee (PSRD Trainee). This is the entry-level training classification for a career in public safety dispatching within the City of San José. As a PSRD Trainee, you are provided with formal training, both in the classroom and in the Communications Center, in order to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the full range of public safety dispatching functions. Trainees must successfully complete all formal academic and on-the-job training to be appointed to the class of Public Safety Radio Dispatcher (PSRD) and retain their employment.

Duties of the PSRD include: answering emergency and non-emergency telephone calls, complying with medical and fire call taking and dispatching policies and protocols, obtaining information from callers, providing emergency instructions over the telephone, entering data into the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, dispatching fire and emergency medical personnel and equipment, providing telecommunications systems support, and performing other related work as assigned.

The PSRD Trainee Training Program includes Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) and Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD) protocol training. The EMD and EFD certification is a condition of employment.

These positions may require working weekends, holidays and/or assignments including swing, midnight, or other nonstandard shifts. Shifts are currently based on an alternate 9-hour schedule (every other set of days off includes three days off), or an 8-hour schedule (five days a week), based on the needs of the Department. You must be available to work the shift schedule assigned to you by the Department. There is a shift differential payment of $1.50/hour for swing shift and $1.75/hour for midnight shifts.

Mandatory overtime will be required during critical incidents or to maintain staffing levels.

Wearing a uniform is required.

Incumbents receive paid training beginning on their first day attending the Public Safety Radio Dispatch Academy. Employee benefits are provided in accordance with the applicable union agreement.

Laterals are encouraged to apply.


The ideal candidate will possess the following competencies, as demonstrated in past and current employment history.  Desirable competencies for this position include:

  • Job Expertise – Demonstrates knowledge of and experience with applicable professional/technical principles and practices, Citywide and departmental procedures/policies and federal and state rules and regulations.
  • Communication Skills – Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts clearly, orally and in writing; demonstrates effective use of listening skills; displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts.
  • Computer Skills – Experienced with common business computer applications including but not limited to: MS Outlook, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, and MS Excel.
  • Teamwork & Interpersonal Skills – Develops effective relationships with co-workers and supervisors by helping others accomplish tasks and using collaboration and conflict resolution skills.
  • Building Trust – Communicates an understanding of the other person’s interests, needs and concerns; identifies and communicates shared interests and goals; identifies and communicates differences as appropriate; demonstrates honesty, keeps commitments, and behaves in an appropriate manner.
  • Flexibility – Makes effective decisions and achieves desired results in the midst of major changes in responsibilities, work processes, timeframes, performance expectations, organizational culture, or work environment.
  • Multi-Tasking – Can handle multiple projects and responsibilities simultaneously; has handled a wide variety of assignments in past and/or current position(s).
  • Reliability – Completes quality work assignments in a timely and efficient manner; fulfills responsibilities and maintains confidentiality as appropriate.

In addition, ideal candidates will also possess these abilities to:

  • Learn to accurately and quickly enter information in the computer system while receiving information via radio and telephone;
  • Learn radio codes used in computer-aided dispatch;
  • Retain composure and work accurately under pressure in emergency situations;
  • Read, write, spell, and speak in clear and concise English;
  • Pass an intensive background investigation;
  • Deal tactfully with the public and others;
  • Follow oral and written instructions;
  • Learn and interpret maps;
  • Work in a confined area and wear a radio headset; and
  • Type.

Competency in a city approved language other than English is desirable, but not required for employment.

This recruitment may be used to fill multiple positions in this, or other divisions or departments. If you are interested in employment in this classification, you should apply to ensure you are considered for additional opportunities that may utilize the applicants from this recruitment.


Minimum Qualifications
1.  Education:  Successful completion of high school, General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or California Proficiency Certificate.
2.   Experience:  One year of experience receiving, processing and/or dispatching calls in a radio dispatch or call center (one year = 2080 hours) OR, three years of experience working in public contact employment (three years = 6240 hours).

The annual salary for the Public Safety Radio Dispatch Trainee (PSRDT) classification is $72,966.40 per year.  In addition to the salary, employees in the Public Safety Radio Dispatcher Trainee and Public Safety Radio Dispatcher classifications shall also receive an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation pay. 

Upon successful completion of training, PSRDTs are eligible for promotion to the Public Safety Radio Dispatcher (PSRD) classification.  The salary range for the PSRD classification is currently $81,036.80 – $98,488.00 per year.

Benefits –

Department –

California Equal Pay Act :

Please note that applications are currently not accepted through CalOpps or any other third party job board application system. To apply, applicants must complete an application via the City of San Jose’s website at  

The application deadline is 11:59 PM on March 11, 2020