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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 402J
Category: Protective Services


Lead dispatcher of one or more Wildland Fire Dispatchers 1-2 and assists supervisors in developing and implementing operational and/or training plans.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions at this level work independently, under general supervision, to resolve issues within their area of responsibility. Some independent decision-making.

Typical Work

As the lead dispatcher, leads day to day operations for Wildland Dispatchers 1-2.
May make decisions regarding frequency management, dispatch staffing, may direct and delegates work on a day to day basis;

Functions as WildCAD sub-administrator;

May handle Public Disclosure or Freedom of Information Act request for dispatch records;

May act in the absence of the Wildland Fire Dispatcher 4 or the program coordinator.
Plans and provides critical logistical support information to the supervisor and makes recommendations concerning the efficient use of available resources;

Determines the appropriate response to incidents and requests from the field and independently plans and carries out dispatching of personnel, equipment, and/or supplies to suppress wildland fires;

Based upon current wildland fire suppression activity and utilizing prior wildland firefighting experience and training, anticipates fire suppression needs and determines resource allocation; 

Receives flight requests and order aircraft from vendors, cooperators, and other dispatch centers. Independently determines and communicates aviation mission scope, locations, frequencies and contact information prior to launch. Determines incident jurisdiction and obtains Wildland Division launch approval, if applicable;

Utilizes Automated Flight Following and WildCAD for aviation resource tracking and communication. Collaborates with zone dispatchers and assists in the coordination during initial attack to ensure efficient and safe dispatch of air resources; 

Determines need for temporary flight restrictions based on incident complexity and location, makes notification to necessary entities, and submits SafeComs based on independent assessment of safety issues/concerns;

Responsible for drone incursion reporting to National Airspace Coordinators using established procedures; 

Notifies adjacent dispatch centers of aircraft operating near boundaries and notifies zone dispatchers, pilots and ICs of flight hazards and retardant avoidance areas;

Facilitates training for other wildland dispatchers in planned simulation exercises, phased training exercises, on the job training, and review and understanding of aircraft procedures/protocols and Interagency Aviation Safety plans;

Processes and interprets weather information to determine burning indices, preparedness levels and staffing levels for suppression and aviation resources;

Researches and creates statistical reports on fire history, causes, burning information, and reports to State and Federal partners. Provides SIT reports, 209s and other data for WA State DNR, Northwest Coordination Center, and local fire management;

Performs, and directs others, in inputting data into a number of fire-related computer applications and makes assessment of outputs;

Reviews internal operating procedures and systems, makes recommendations for improvement, and updates/develops operating plans and mobilization guides;

Provides assistance on problems encountered by lower-level dispatch personnel;

Prioritizes all incoming emergency and non-emergency calls. Identifies the nature of emergency, level of response required, and provides information to the responding units;

Performs crisis intervention with distraught emergency callers during high-risk situations until appropriate emergency field units arrive on scene;

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


Two seasons as Wildland Fire Dispatcher 2, other dispatch experience, wildland fire suppression experience.

National Wildfire Coordinating Group qualified as an Initial Attack Dispatcher (IADP), Expanded Dispatch Support Dispatcher Trainee (EDSD-T), or Aircraft Dispatcher Trainee (ACDP-T).

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.