Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Chapter 259
Caption: Fix error by removing requirements
for telecommunicator/emergency medical dispatcher writing test.
Order No.: DPSST 13-2010
Filed with Sec. of
Certified to be
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Rules Repealed: 259-008-0011(T)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
(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
(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
(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
(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).
(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
(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
(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,
(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
(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
(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
(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
(d) Default Order: If a timely request for a hearing is
not received, the Contested Case Notice will become a final order denying the
(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.]
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
Notes 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.