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Communications Specialist


The Communications Specialist is an integral part in the operations of the Central Dakota Communications Center. Successful performance helps ensure effective CenCom operations and contributes to the efficient and effective response to non-emergency, emergency, and life-threatening situations.

CenCom personnel are trained and certified in public safety communications through APCO International, emergency medical dispatch (EMD) and emergency police dispatch (EPD) through the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch, CPR and first aid through the American Heart Association, and are required to attend 36 hours of continuing dispatch education every two years to maintain their certification as in EMD/EPD.

CenCom Selection Process

After applying for the Communication Specialist position, the applicant will be contacted by Human Resources to complete the following tests: Call Center Customer Service Scenarios (70% minimum score), Typing (30 wpm) and Spelling (70% minimum score.)

Once these initial tests are successfully completed, CenCom will contact the applicant for the Entry Level 911 Applicant Test. The test takes approximately 2 ½ hours to complete and is administered onsite only. This test, through International Personnel Management Association is an entry level test where no prior training or experience in the telecommunications/public safety field is assumed of applicants taking the test. Applicants must score a 75% or higher score to continue in the process.

The next element of the process is the oral interview. Those applicants who are invited to an interview will be notified of the interview date and time. At the conclusion of the interview process, successful applicants will be ranked and placed on our certified hiring list. Applicants will remain on our certified hiring list for a period of up to one year. An applicant’s position on the certified hiring list may change with each new testing and interview process.

Applicants may be offered employment but hiring will be contingent upon passing a hearing screening, drug test and a background check.

New employees will receive communications training from a Communications Training Officer (CTO) who will train and monitor their daily performance after they complete an in house academy that includes training in CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch), communications practices, policy and procedures, Heartsaver CPR, and NCIC certification. Employees will also be scheduled to attend the  APCO Basic Telecommunicator CourseNAED Emergency Medical Dispatch, and the NAED Emergency Police Dispatch.