The 9-1-1 dispatcher has one of the most stressful jobs imaginable. To be able to hire applicants that have the skills needed to succeed in this environment is a difficult task.
CritiCall is software that tests, on a computer, dispatcher, calltaker, and telecommunicator applicants on the job-related skills necessary for today's complex dispatching environment. Biddle Consulting Group presented the CritiCall Dispatcher Testing tool that measures an applicant's ability to multitask and follow instructions/directions. In addition, the test focuses on memory skills, computer keyboarding, mapping and problem solving.
Select, Inc. highlighted their Dispatcher Behaviorally Based Assessment test that measures how applicants react to the components of the job that can't be taught or trained.
NCTCOG's 9-1-1 Program has been offering CritiCall testing for call taker/dispatcher applicants free of charge since 2005. Guidelines and requests for applicant testing include:
- Contact Brandon Isham at 817-695-9205 for available testing dates/times
- Testing is done in the 9-1-1 Training Room at the NCTCOG Offices, 600 Six Flags Drive in Arlington.
- Testing is offered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- No more than 5 applicants may test per time period
- A representative from the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) must accompany applicants
- The PSAP representative will be briefed prior to testing on setting up, and taking down, the equipment
- PSAP Representatives will receive a printout of the applicant's scores prior to leaving and are responsible for proper filing at their agency
- PSAP representatives are responsible for purging applicant records once printouts are received.