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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 402H
Category: Protective Services

Class Series Concept

Within the Department of Natural Resources, positions operate under the National Coordination System and the Incident Command System. Wildland Fire Dispatchers manage resources after the initial response and provide logistical support to emerging and ongoing incidents.


This is the entry level of this series. Positions at this level work under direct/close supervision are primarily responsible for taking initial reports of fire from the public or other dispatch centers on a multi-line phone system. Gathers information and passes to higher level dispatchers. Assists with other data entry in WildCAD and other dispatch systems.

Distinguishing Characteristics

These positions differ from the other positions in the series in that they do not perform radio dispatch functions to transmit, receive, or relay information concerning public safety and fire activities to or from the Department of Natural Resources fire resources or other state, county and federal fire agencies. Positions work under close supervision and within structured and established guidelines. Work tasks are often routine and decision-making is prescribed.

Typical Work

Take initial calls regarding the following:

• The location of the emergency or incident, including the street address, geographic location, or coordinate systems;
• Call back information from the caller;
• The nature of the emergency or incident;
• Details about the emergency, such as a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency and information for public assistance;
• Gathering of information to be passed off to the appropriate staff or dispatcher;

Receives and transfers telephone calls within the office and takes and relays messages when appropriate;

Responds to public inquiries for information;

Performs data entry into reporting systems such as, fire reporting systems, weather information systems, spread sheets and websites;

Inputs burn permit information into the SMOKEM System, assists public with information about outdoor burning, Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, and area closures;

Creates and writes, with assistance of field staff, fire and incident report narratives;

Assists other dispatchers in information notetaking for incidents through the use of WildCAD.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: basic computer terminology; fundamentals of customer service relations.
Ability to: maintain a helpful and courteous attitude; deal tactfully and effectively with the public; remain calm under stressful conditions; use good judgment in evaluating and making decisions; obtain and provide accurate information; learn and demonstrate proficiency working with computer systems such as WildCAD, ACCESS, etc.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

High School diploma or GED equivalent


One year experience involving public contact or communication such as radio communications, receptionist, switchboard operator, or clerical office work which includes interacting with the public.
National Wildfire Coordinating Group qualified as a Radio Operator Trainee or Expanded Dispatch Recorder Trainee.

NOTE: Some positions may require keyboarding or typing accurately at a net speed of 35 words per minute or faster.

Class Specification History

New class adopted June 22, 2023, effective July 1, 2023.