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Bergen County Communications Center is hiring new dispatchers

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Apr 13, 2005
Messages
529
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Northwest Bergen County, NJ
#1
Bergen County Communications is hiring Public Safety Telecommunicators (Dispatchers)

Bergen County Communications is accepting applications for experienced full time Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs). Must be certified in EMD, Basic Telecommunicator and CPR. Salary, according to salary guide, will be commensurate with experience. Salary includes holiday pay and may also include shift differential. PSTs work a Pitman Schedule (7am-7pm, 7pm-7am), this includes four hours of automatic overtime due to schedule. Health benefits are also included for full time employees.

We are also accepting applications for per diem PSTs. Experience is preferred but is not needed.

If interested in either position please email careers@bcpsoc.com for an application.
 

Archie

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Dec 30, 2003
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Yonkers, NY
#2
Why can't they work 8 hour shifts like the cops and fire fighters?? Why such long hours?? Or are they only working a 3 day week , 12 hour shifts?? Seems like the County is needlessly paying overtime here...
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
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Northwest Bergen County, NJ
#3
Why can't they work 8 hour shifts like the cops and fire fighters?? Why such long hours?? Or are they only working a 3 day week , 12 hour shifts?? Seems like the County is needlessly paying overtime here...[/QUOTE

Police officers in my municipality and several others nearby work 12 hour shifts; 2 days on, 2 days off, 3 days on, 2 days on, 2 days off, 3 days on, etc. Many firefighters work 24 hour shifts.
 

ten13

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#4
It's been a LONG TIME since firefighters worked "8 hour shifts." In fact, the last time I saw...or read about...an FD working 8 hours, was during the 1930s.

This dispatcher's gig sounds decent enough, except for the trip to Mahwah. The 12-hour shifts can be good, depending on how many RDOs you get. BUT...from the fact that they are paying,".... four hours of automatic overtime due to schedule," means that it may only be the "normal" two-days off, after the four, 12-hour tours. You may make a decent buck, but have no time to spend it.

It may also be an indication that their manpower is somewhat critically low. If that's the case, even those two days off may turn into only one, if someone from the incoming tour goes sick, etc, and you get held-over.

I'd also like to see what the salary is.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
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Northern NJ
#5
Makes me wonder what other agencies, local/state will be joining Bergen County’s system, or are already slated to do so....

Unless there was retirement’s lately...


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Joined
Dec 26, 2005
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2,112
Location
Medford, NJ
#6
Why can't they work 8 hour shifts like the cops and fire fighters?? Why such long hours?? Or are they only working a 3 day week , 12 hour shifts?? Seems like the County is needlessly paying overtime here...
Most of the police around here (Burlington County) work 12 hours shifts, been that way for a long time.
 

KD2JFA

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#7
Why can't they work 8 hour shifts like the cops and fire fighters?? Why such long hours?? Or are they only working a 3 day week , 12 hour shifts?? Seems like the County is needlessly paying overtime here...
If you're complaining about a 12 hour pittman schedule you've obviously never worked in public safety. Pittman is great.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
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Fortified Bunker
#8
Pittman is great when you get the days off. If they are paying OT after 8, you are not getting those days off as the extra 4 on Pittman factors into your overall 80 hours over a 2 week period (work longer hours so have more days off ). If they are paying you for the extra 4 per day, hmmmmmm.... Also would love to know the starting salary because Bergen County isn’t cheap.


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Danny37

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#9
One of the EMS gigs I had was a 3 day work week which was 13 hours for 3 days which I liked because it gave me 4 days off to do my freelance work. Plus I didn't get burned out as easily as I do when I work 5 days 8-10 hours. 4 days off gives you plenty of free time to have a mini-getaway.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2008
Messages
56
Location
Bergen County,NJ
#10
Why can't they work 8 hour shifts like the cops and fire fighters?? Why such long hours?? Or are they only working a 3 day week , 12 hour shifts?? Seems like the County is needlessly paying overtime here...
There are are only 3 agencies out of the 13 we dispatch for that are on 8 hour shifts. A large majority of agencies are on 12 hour shifts. It allows more employee's working at a given time and you don't need as many employees vs 8 hour. If we went to 8 hour's again, we switched in 2011, we would need an additional 1/3 the manpower just to keep minimum staffing without paying overtime out the ass. The 4 hours additional time worked past 80 per pay period is either paid as overtime or comp time, your choice. The amount of overtime figured into a person's bi-weekly check is negligible compared to that if we were on an 8 hour shift and working 8 hours of overtime additionally because we don't have the staffing for an 8 hour shift.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
618
Location
New Jersey
#11
Pittman is a great schedule, never work more than 3 days in a row, depending on which one they run u get every other Friday Saturday Sunday off, the four hours ot comes from it being an 84 hour 2 week work period, some agencies give comp time for the 4 hours some give ot others have one 8 hour shift built in per pay period to get rid of the ot. Either way it is a great shift much better than the 5 on 2 off fixed RDO 8 hr shifts we run and no one seems to want to change, thank god for switches so I make my own schedule!!


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Joined
Nov 23, 2004
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Fortified Bunker
#12
After reading the posting again, I’m assuming the extra 4 hours is over a two-week schedule, not per day. That’s usually how a Pitman works out. However, I can tell you that 12 hours on the desk sucks....especially when you’re relief bangs in sick and they can’t fill it...and then you get mandated for another 4. And then have to come back for a 12. So if you are 7p-7a that becomes 11a, then commute home, sleep, commute back for another 12 overnight on around 5 hours of sleep average until 7am again.

Even when I worked 8’s on midnight-8, when I got mandated for another 8 because of people calling in sick, I was a zombie by 2 with another 2 to go. I could have slept 8 hours before my shift, my body just never adjusted. And I worked steady midnights for years. I can guarantee the new hires will go to 7p-7a. No thanks. !


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ten13

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#13
What Zero says is correct...and one of the deficiencies of 12-hour tours for dispatchers.

What's worse, is that the bosses don't take into consideration (or don't want to) the fact that for each 'holdover' you have to cover an absent dispatcher, you have one coming in on their regular tour (the guy who held over) far from being at the top of their game, compounded by being demoralized because they were "ordered" to. The bosses tend to hide behind that "emergency service" line, "someone's gotta answer the phones..." etc., meanwhile their working steady 8-hour days/weekends off.

I worked in a similar job with 12-tours. One time, a guy in the next tour went long-term sick (gallbladder, or something like that), and after each tour, my group spent most of the 12 hours trying to figure out who was going to hold over to cover the sick guy. The morale (not to mention the unintended, not-job-related, "tension") was low, and the tension high. What did happen is that the guy who was supposed to hold over the next time we worked, went sick himself, leaving the hold over for someone who wasn't scheduled nor wanted to at all.

We had several days RDO after our swing, and one day an off-duty guy came in for some reason, heard the banter about holding over, got into the middle of it, and volunteered to work the 12 hours. He had three or four days RDO, so it was no big deal for him, and my group went home as scheduled (and happy). The policy of calling people on their RDOs became the primary source of OT to fill spots from then on, and hold-overs only in desperation. It worked well.

Twelve hours are fine, if your in a firehouse or in a police car, but, as Zero says, staring at the same computer screen trying to stay awake is almost physically impossible to some (and understandably so).
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
484
#14
ten13, you're absolutely right. Having worked the 12 hour - on for three/off for three chart (an awesome chart; just as you're getting sick of the place, you're swinging out - instead of having to slog through two more days like on a five on chart), it can get, let's say, tedious. The tricks I've seen work to help combat fatigue is having breaks to be off the floor built in to the day's schedule and that posts rotate (fire to police to EMS, or whatever direction you want to go in) when you return from the break, so that you can stay fresh for the entire tour. I'd jump head first into this opportunity, if only New Jersey's databases weren't as f'ed up as they are. One car stop, five entries to run somebody "all the way around"? B.S.! With all the money getting dumped into four different statewide trunked systems, you'd think that somehow or another the State would find the money to tie together the warrants, motor vehicle commission, NCIC, and local traffic court databases.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
67
#15
Just think if the politicians didn't steal the 911 tax and put it in the general fund the 911 call centers would be properly staffed and every PST would be issued a golden microphone.
 

ten13

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ten13
#16
AUGUSTA, Maine — A nagging shortage of emergency dispatchers who answer calls to police and fire departments around the state has prompted legislation that could improve the pension benefits earned by the workers.

Legislators on Monday will hear testimony on a bill that would open up special state retirement plans that previously were available only to police, fire and emergency medical service personnel. The legislation is part of a years-long effort by advocates to include dispatchers and emergency 911 call operators in the popular definition of who is considered a first responder, acknowledging the critical role they play in ensuring public safety throughout Maine and the nation.

Shortage of dispatchers prompts Maine to consider improving benefits
 

ten13

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ten13
#17
Just think if the politicians didn't steal the 911 tax and put it in the general fund the 911 call centers would be properly staffed and every PST would be issued a golden microphone.
What do you think they are doing with NJ's so-called "gasoline tax, dedicated for roads and infrastructure?": exactly the same thing: into the general fund to pay for more politically-viable things.
 
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