Oregon Bulletin

February 1, 2011


Department of Public Safety Standards and Training
Chapter 259

Rule Caption: Fix error by removing requirements for telecommunicator/emergency medical dispatcher writing test.

Adm. Order No.: DPSST 13-2010

Filed with Sec. of State: 12-23-2010

Certified to be Effective: 12-23-10

Notice Publication Date: 12-1-2010

Rules Amended: 259-008-0011

Rules Repealed: 259-008-0011(T)

Subject: This rule establishes the minimum standards for employment for telecommunicators and emergency medical dispatchers. A 12th grade writing standard was eliminated by a permanent rule filed December, 2008. The verbiage was inadvertently returned in a subsequent rule filing. This amendment removes the requirements for a writing test. An additional housekeeping change was made for clarity.

Rules Coordinator: Linsay Bassler—(503) 378-2431


Minimum Standards for Employment as a Telecommunicator and Emergency Medical Dispatcher

(1) On or before the date of employment, each telecommunicator and emergency medical dispatcher shall be fingerprinted on standard applicant fingerprint cards.

(a) The hiring agency, if a public agency, is responsible for fingerprinting and shall forward two (2) cards to the Oregon State Police Identification Services Section for processing and assignment of identification number.

(b) If the hiring agency is a private agency it is responsible for fingerprinting and shall forward two (2) cards to the Department along with the appropriate fee.

(A) Applicant’s fingerprints will be retained and kept on file with the Oregon State Police Identification Services Section.

(B) The Oregon State Police Identification Services Section shall notify the Department and the employing agency of any criminal record disclosed through processing the applicant’s fingerprint card.

(C) If any procedural change is made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Oregon State Police Identification Services Section, the Department shall comply with the most current requirements.

(D) If the fingerprint clearance has not been obtained prior to submission of the application for certification, a criminal history affidavit provided by the Department shall be completed and returned to the Department by the applicant pending fingerprint clearance.

(2) Criminal Records. No telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher shall have been convicted:

(a) In this state or any other jurisdiction, of a crime designated under the law where the conviction occurred as being punishable as a felony or as a crime for which a maximum term of imprisonment of more than one (1) year may be imposed;

(b) Of violating any law involving the unlawful use, possession, delivery, or manufacture of a controlled substance, narcotic, or dangerous drug;

(c) In this state of violating any law subject to denial or revocation as identified in OAR 259-008-0070 or has been convicted of violating the statutory counterpart of any of those offenses in any other jurisdiction.

(3) Moral Fitness (Professional Fitness). All telecommunicators and emergency medical dispatchers must be of good moral fitness. For purposes of this standard, lack of good moral fitness includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Mandatory disqualifying misconduct as described in OAR 259-008-0070(3); or

(b) Discretionary disqualifying misconduct as described in OAR 259-008-0070(4).

(4) Education:

(a) Applicants for the position of a telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher will be required to furnish documentary evidence of one of the following:

(A) High School diploma; or

(B) Successful completion of the General Educational Development (GED) Test.

(i) For the purpose of determining high school graduation level as required by these rules, the applicant must have achieved a score no less than that required by the Oregon Board of Education before issuing an Oregon GED certificate.

(ii) Applicants holding a GED from another state may be required to obtain an Oregon certificate at the discretion of the Department.

(b) Evidence of the above shall consist of official transcripts, diplomas, or GED test report forms. Other documentation may be accepted, at the discretion of the Department.

(5) Reading Standard. Before beginning basic telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher training or challenging basic telecommunicator training, each applicant shall provide evidence to the Department that the applicant has attained a minimum of a 12th grade reading level in the English language.

(a) The hiring agency is responsible for administering a reading test, approved by the Department, and shall forward the results to the Department on an application for training (Form F-5) prior to the applicant being admitted to basic telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher training.

(b) Individuals submitting transcripts verifying that they possess at least a four-year academic degree from an institution recognized by the Department under the provisions of OAR 259-008-0045 are exempt from completing the 12th grade reading test prior to attending a course identified in this section.

(6) Physical Examination. All telecommunicators and emergency medical dispatcher applicants must be examined by a licensed physician.

(a) The medical examination must be completed not more than 180 days prior to initial offer of employment, nor more than 90 days after initial offer of employment, and must conform to applicable standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Title 42 USC 12101.

(b) Individuals who have had a successfully completed physical examination (while at the same employer) and are selected for a certifiable position in a discipline in which the individual is not yet certified must complete and pass a new physical examination.

(c) The Department will not require a new physical examination when a telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher obtains employment, or re-employment, in the same discipline if the telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher:

(A) Has had a successfully completed a physical examination, and

(B) Is currently certified; or

(C) Is currently employed full-time in another jurisdiction and has successfully completed a comparable physical examination in that jurisdiction.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c), a medical examination may be required by a hiring agency at its discretion.

(e) Telecommunicator and emergency medical dispatcher applicants must meet the following criteria:

(A) Visual Acuity. Corrected vision must be at least 20/30 (Snellen) when tested using both eyes together.

(B) Color Vision. Red or green deficiencies may be acceptable, providing the applicant can read at least nine (9) of the first thirteen (13) plates of the Ishihara Test (24 Plate Edition). Applicants who fail the Ishihara test can meet the color vision standard by demonstrating that they can correctly discriminate colors via a field test conducted by the employer and approved by the Department. The results of the field test and the methods for testing must be maintained by the employing agency.

(i) Any employing agency that conducts a field test to meet the color vision standard must also complete a Department approved affidavit attesting that the applicant can either correctly discriminate colors or is able to successfully perform the required tasks of a telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher, notwithstanding the applicant’s inability to correctly discriminate colors.

(ii) Any affidavit required by (i), that the Department receives and accepts, is non-transferable to any subsequent employer and may not be used by any other entity for certification purposes.

(iii) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this rule, each employer must complete an agency-specific field test and a Department approved affidavit as described in subsection (i) of this section for any telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher who previously met the color vision standard by completing a field test.

(C) Peripheral Vision. Visual Field Performance must be 120 degrees in the horizontal meridian combined.

(f) Applicants for the position of telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher must have sufficient hearing in both ears to perform essential tasks without posing a direct threat to themselves or others. The applicant must meet National Emergency Number Association (NENA) hearing standard 54-002 (June 10, 2006).

(g) Applicants for the position of telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher must be able to use vocal cords and exhibit normal speech patterns, sufficient to perform speaking-related essential tasks.

(7) If further medical examination is required, it will be at the expense of the applicant or the hiring authority.

(8) All telecommunicator and emergency medical dispatcher applicants must submit a current-version DPSST Medical Examination Report for Telecommunicators and Emergency Medical Dispatchers (DPSST Form F-2T), or a medical report completed by a licensed physician containing at a minimum the information on Form F-2T. This Report will be furnished to the examining physician by the hiring agency.

(9) A copy of the Medical Examination Report must be sent to the Department prior to acceptance into a basic course, or any course where such report is required by the Department.

(10) The Department may require an applicant offered conditional employment to take a subsequent examination by a licensed physician of the Department’s choice at the expense of the applicant or the hiring authority.

(11) The Board may waive any physical requirement where, in its judgment, the waiver would not be detrimental to the performance of a telecommunicator or emergency medical dispatcher’s duties. The applicant may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform the essential functions of the job.

(12) A person or department head requesting a waiver of any physical requirement set forth in section (11) of this rule must submit the request to the Department in writing, accompanied by supporting documents or pertinent testimony which would justify the action requested. The supporting documents must include information pertinent to the waiver request. The Board or Department may require additional documentation or testimony by the person or department head requesting the waiver if clarification is needed. Any expense associated with providing documentation or testimony will be borne by the person requesting the waiver or the requesting agency. If the person requesting the waiver does not obtain employment within one (1) year from the date a waiver is granted, the waiver will be considered void.

(a) If the Board grants a waiver, it will be recorded on the certification and any subsequent certification unless removed by the Board upon proof that the condition prompting the waiver no longer exists.

(b) If the Board denies a request for a waiver of any physical requirement set forth in section (8) of this rule, the Department will issue Notice and proceed as provided in section (13) of this rule.

(13) Contested Case Hearing Process for denial of waiver.

(a) Initiation of Proceedings: Upon determination that the reason for denial of a waiver is supported by factual data meeting the statutory and administrative rule requirements, a contested case notice will be prepared.

(b) Contested Case Notice: The “Contested Case Notice” will be prepared in accordance with the Attorney General’s Model Rules of Procedure adopted under OAR 259-005-0015. The Department will have a copy of the notice served on the public safety professional or individual.

(c) Response Time: A party who has been served with a “Contested Case Notice” has 60 days from the date of mailing or personal service of the notice in which to file with the Department a written request for a hearing.

(d) Default Order: If a timely request for a hearing is not received, the Contested Case Notice will become a final order denying the requested waiver.

(e) Hearing Request: When a request for a hearing is received in a timely manner, the Department will refer the matter to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(f) Proposed Order: The assigned Administrative Law Judge will prepare Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Proposed Final Order and serve a copy on the Department and on each party.

(g) Exceptions and Arguments: A party must file specific written exceptions and arguments with the Department no later than 14 days from date of service of the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Proposed Final Order.

(A) The Department may extend the time within which the exceptions and arguments must be filed upon a showing of good cause.

(B) When the exceptions and arguments are filed, the party making the exceptions and arguments must serve a copy on all parties of record in the case and provide the Department with proof of service. A failure to serve copies and provide proof of service will invalidate the filing of exceptions and arguments as being untimely, and the Department may disregard the filing in making a final determination of the case.

(h) Final Order: The Department will issue a final order if a public safety professional or individual fails to file exceptions and arguments in a timely manner.

[ED. NOTE: Forms referenced are available from the agency.]

Stat. Auth.: ORS 181.640, 181.644 & 183.341

Stats. Implemented: ORS 181.640, 181.644 & 183.341

Hist.: BPSST 1-2002, f. & cert. ef. 2-6-02; DPSST 1-2004, f. 1-16-04, cert. ef. 1-20-04; DPSST 5-2004, f. & cert. ef. 4-23-04; DPSST 3-2007, f. & cert. ef. 1-12-07; DPSST 10-2007, f. & cert. ef. 10-15-07; DPSST 5-2008, f. & cert. ef. 4-15-08; DPSST 21-2008, f. 12-15-08, cert. ef. 1-1-09; DPSST 6-2009, f. & cert. ef. 7-13-09; DPSST 9-2010(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 10-15-10 thru 4-12-11; DPSST 13-2010, f. & cert. ef. 12-23-10

1.) This online version of the OREGON BULLETIN is provided for convenience of reference and enhanced access. The official, record copy of this publication is contained in the original Administrative Orders and Rulemaking Notices filed with the Secretary of State, Archives Division. Discrepancies, if any, are satisfied in favor of the original versions. Use the OAR Revision Cumulative Index found in the Oregon Bulletin to access a numerical list of rulemaking actions after November 15, 2010.

2.) Copyright 2011 Oregon Secretary of State: Terms and Conditions of Use

Oregon State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310