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					                              The San Jose Fire Department
                             INCIDENT DISPATCHER TEAM
                           Selection Interview Questions
                                                 Revised 12/09/06


Candidate:                                           Date:

IDT-SPECIFIC COMMENTS AND RATINGS:

1. Why did you apply for this position? What skills and experience would you bring to this
specialty assignment?
We are looking for someone showing willingness and commitment to be on call always and respond as often
as available, acknowledging pages after hours and otherwise able to commit to being available for training,
meetings, and responses during their off duty hours. We are looking for someone with a solid background in
fire dispatch and a basic understanding (or at least the potential to understand, with training) of ICS
organization, ICS forms, fire scene operations, etc. Maximum ability to multi-task during extremely distracting
field conditions. Ability to work alone without supervision in this position (when trained).

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




2. According to policy, prospective members of the IDT must have successfully completed
probation as a PSD II or higher, must have a current performance evaluation of Meets
Standard or better with no significant performance issues within the last year. And,
because city policy requires possession of a valid California Driver’s License and city
driving permit to drive on city time, IDT personnel must have both a CDL and get a city
driving permit. IDT members also need to be effective team players since we interact
directly with a wide variety of personalities, positions, and agencies. Please advise how
you meet these requirements and how you feel you would fit in as a team player on the
IDT.
Without discussing particulars, we are looking for PSDs with no significant disciplinary action within the last
year, who meets the requirements for probation and performance evaluation. City policy requires possession
of a valid CDL and city driving permit to drive on city time. All IDT candidates should understand these
requirements.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




3. To your knowledge, what are the primary responsibilities and duties of an incident
dispatcher? What types of events would they be called upon to assist with?
IDTs manage all aspects of communications for the incident from the Incident Command Post. Establish a
Comm Unit at the ICP. Resource Status Support at the ICP. Complete ICS paperwork for IC. Be flexible
enough to provide support as needed/requested. They respond primarily on greater alarm fires but could be
called to respond to any incident requested by an IC.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)
4. Persons assigned to IDT are subject to call outs during off duty hours and are expected
to respond to the incident as soon as possible. When you get there you will be working
out of doors in potentially inclement weather, in noisy and smoky environments, wearing
heavy IDT safety gear. What commitments do you currently have that could potentially
interfere with your assignment, and how have you prepared yourself to function in these
kinds of environments?
We are looking for someone who isn't so overcommitted that they can't make it to a "reasonable amount" of
callouts and training activities. Someone who can thrive in the midst of a chaotic and potentially disorganized
environment and maintain a degree of organization and control over their responsibilities. The candidate
should have considered the effect of being on-call with personal and work commitments and is comfortable
with working it out. We don't expect IDT personnel to respond to EVERY callout EACH TIME, but we are
looking for someone with the ability/willingness to manage their workload to be available.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




5. How do you feel about working closely with Chief Officers and senior command staff?
What skills do you possess that would enable you to interact effectively with senior
command officers at a busy incident?
We are looking for someone who has the ability to work well with senior staff in an operational environment.
Someone able to follow orders in a critical situation. Someone who understands that ICS is function-driven
and not rank-driven, and who can integrate into that kind of organizational structure. Someone who doesn't
get intimidated by high ranking officers to the point where they can't function in their role.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




6. What do you know about the statewide mutual aid system? Please give examples on how
personnel from the City of San Jose may be involved.
We are looking for someone with a reasonably basic understanding of how Fire & Rescue mutual aid works,
what strike teams and all about, how they are deployed, what Overhead is all about and how local resources
fit into statewide mutual aid.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




7. As an Incident Dispatcher in San Jose, you also are potentially a mutual-aid resource
available to the state, although this is not mandatory. What is your feeling about possibly
responding outside the county for several days to work in a remote environment in another
jurisdiction? Would you have any problems in being able to respond?
We are looking for someone who has the ability and willingness to respond on an out-of-county mutual aid call-
out and who has already thought about this potential.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)
8. Situation: You are one of two Incident Dispatchers working at the fire command post of
an incident involving police and AMR. Your main tasks are communicating with the fire
units on Command 3, starting the radio log, accounting for the whereabouts and
assignments of the fire units working the incident, coordinating scene security issues with
and between police and AMR units, providing data for the PIO who is waiting for details,
issuing loaner radios to mutual aid responders, and setting up your ICS forms to document
the notes you are taking. With only two IDTs, please explain how best to organize these
tasks between the two of you.
Ideally: looking for basic prioritization of activities – comms and ReStat being the most important – and seeing
how inventive the candidate may be in working out interoperability issues. This question is mainly testing
organizational skills.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




9. Situation: You are the only IDT person on the scene of a Tier 5 vegetation fire, working
in the Comm Van. Command 3 is the main command channel for the incident; Divisions
are also using Tac 5, CDF Tac 2, and CDF Tac 10, with Tac 5 being used to coordinate a
critical backfire situation. County Blue is being used as a travel channel for a strike team
of mutual aid responders. You are tasked with monitoring all five channels in the Comm
Van, which has two mobile radio positions, the driver’s radio in the cab, one scanner, and
your portable IDT radio. Please explain how you would manage the workload and prioritize
the channels.
Ideally: Command 3 and Tac 5 (or whichever Tac is most critical) on the mobiles, the other two Tacs on the
driver’s radio and the IDT portable, and Blue on the scanner (Communications should be primary in handling
that channel).
Understanding that the candidate may not have specific training in these areas, we just want to gain an
understanding of their thought-process - what kinds of decision they may make and, more importantly, how
they explain the reasoning behind those decisions.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




10. Do you have any questions of the board or of the position?
We would like to receive positive responses that demonstrate the candidate's understanding and willingness -
not hesitancy - to step into the role.
GENERAL RATINGS:

Oral Communication Skills: Candidate demonstrated the ability to communicate effectively and
to clearly and succinctly express thoughts, ideas, and opinions in a logical, organized manner.
Candidate displayed the ability to summarize, paraphrase and clarify as appropriate.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




Decision Making/Judgement and Problem Solving: Candidate demonstrates the ability to
analyze and solve problems effectively. Decisions reflect good sense and judgement. Candidate
considers long-range consequences and implications. Candidate considers various available
factors and data before arriving at a decision.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




Interpersonal Skills: Candidate demonstrates the ability to work well with others (peers, police
officers, firefighters, etc). Candidate demonstrates the ability to treat others in a fair, consistent
manner.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




Motivation for the Position: Candidate demonstrates a sincere interest in the Incident
Dispatcher position and has an in-depth understanding of it.

RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)




TOTAL RATING (0=low, 5=average, 10=high)

Rater's General Comments




Rater:                                         Agency:

				
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