Work for the ECC

A Public Safety Telecommunicator (PST) position is a meaningful, rewarding, and challenging career opportunity offered within the Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management (DPSCEM) in the Arlington County, Virginia Emergency Communications Center (ECC).  

Arlington County has a combined Police, Fire, and EMS ECC which is responsible for processing emergency and non-emergency telephone calls, managing the state and national law enforcement teletype command terminal for Arlington County, and the dispatch of the Police and Fire Departments by radio 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Make a positive impact serving the community by joining the dedicated men and women who work in the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center.    

Apply Now

Are you ready to join a team of highly trained professionals and make a difference in your community?

Apply now to start your career as a Public Safety Telecommunicator!

About the Position

Position Details

The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) provides critical information and support to Public Safety departments within Arlington County. As a Public Safety Telecommunicator (PST), you will face diverse challenges and make a direct impact on the community. Every call is an opportunity to provide essential service to citizens, other county agencies, other Public Safety agencies, and department personnel. This is a great opportunity to provide crucial support to fire fighters, police officers, and EMS personnel in the field.

Hear what Arlington County PSTs have to say about their job.

PST Duties
  • Receive and dispatch emergency and non-emergency calls.
  • Determine priority of incoming calls and accurately relay information to the dispatcher.
  • Provide information, support and guidance to callers in stressful situations.
  • Serve as a liaison between caller and Police, Fire and EMS personnel.
  • Send, receive, and disseminate confidential information.
  • Enter and update information into statewide and national databases.
  • Obtain required certifications and update job knowledge through classroom, on-the-job, self-initiated, and online training.

Work Hours

This position involves a 12-hour shift with rotating days off and built-in overtime. There are four shifts which include, two-day shifts working 6:45am-7:00pm and two midnight shifts working 6:45pm-7:00am. Employees are assigned to shift based on the needs of the department and are required to work weekends and holidays in alignment with the assigned shift rotation. Shift schedules are subject to change depending on the needs of the department.

Required Training

The training program is extensive and designed to assist PSTs in becoming proficient call takers, teletype operators, and dispatchers. The on-the-job training is broken into five stages, and each stage must be successfully completed before moving onto the next. The program is intended to provide PSTs with instruction, direction, supervision, guidance, and experience that will assist them in successfully applying critical skills in a variety of situations.

Application & Examination Process

Steps in the Hiring Process
  1. Apply online at
  2. Complete and pass online written examination (Find test preparation guide).
  3. Attend virtual interview.
  4. Undergo background investigation (Find background application form).
  5. Undergo polygraph examination.
  6. Participate in virtual informational presentation (optional). 


Arlington County invests in their employees in countless ways, including offering generous benefits. Some benefits include:

  • Accrued Vacation
  • Sick and Compensatory Leave Health
  • Dental and Life Insurance
  • 401 and 457 Retirement Plan
  • On-the-Job Training by Professional Staff
  • Job Security
  • Health Care and Dependent Care Flex Spending Plans
  • Opportunity for Advancement and Growth
  • State-of-the-Art Work Facility
  • Diverse Work Environment
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Training Opportunities within and outside Arlington County
  • Opportunities to Make a Difference in the Community