Being a 911 dispatcher is more than just someone being in charge of ordering emergency responders to a scene.
If the wrong person was hired for the job, not only can it affect the operations of the dispatcher company, but it can also put the lives of many at risk, and thus it is necessary for them to make sure that the candidate has what it takes to take on the duties and responsibilities of being a dispatcher by making them pass the CritiCall Test.
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The assessment is designed to mimic the tasks that a 911 dispatcher has to do on the job, allowing hiring managers to see just how compatible the applicant is with the role that they are applying for.
Although the 911 CritiCall exam can be difficult for many due to its timed nature in various sections, this doesn’t mean that you cannot prepare for it or learn how to tackle its contents effectively.
In fact, with a bit of practice and perseverance, even those who only start now with reviewing can even pass the CritiCall dispatcher test. While there are many ways to prepare, let’s take a look at the key areas that you should focus on in order to ensure a smooth testing experience.
Brush up on your reading comprehension and spelling skills
One of the main features of the CritiCall dispatcher test is that it is strict with its answer format.
Any mistake in capitalization, grammar, spelling, or even punctuation or word usage, and it is very likely that you will lose a point, or worse, you will make your interview process more difficult as the interviewer will focus on why did you make such a mistake when it’s ‘so easy’.
Furthermore, your ability to write and understand reports, in addition to inputting accurate details such as names, addresses, contact numbers, and other things from a database will be put to the test.
As a result, picking up whatever book or online resources that you can to hone your spelling and reading comprehension skills.
Learn how to read maps and…
Understand what it means to give instructions and to assign responders to a scene with their own conditions and prerequisites.
One of the formidable subjects contained in the CritiCall test is having to navigate through a map in order to find where a police car, responder, or victim is likely to be after a series of movements. After all, callers can either use the cardinal directions when describing their movements or something relative like ‘their left/right’ and it will be your responsibility to keep track of their location at all times.
Another section of the test will also involve you having to utilize a map, but in this case you will have to assign units to an incident, and each unit has their own incidents, requirements, or special orders when it comes to responding.
This means it would be your responsibility to figure out which of them is the best to send to an incident provided in the questions.
Improve your short-term memory
As a dispatcher, it is highly important that you have good short-term memory skills. Why? Because callers, distraught as they can be, may only be able to provide information relating to their situation, status, location, or even identity.
While signal triangulation and call tracing technologies have come a long way, it is still more reliable for a dispatcher to input and relay all the important information to the appropriate responder so that they can immediately head to the scene and provide help.
In order to confirm that the applicant has sufficient short-term memory skills, theCritiCall test requires them to listen to a number of audio-based questions to which they will have to input the answer into the answer box.
Due to its nature, the best way to prepare for this is to use a random number or string generator, generate a lot of sets, and make a recording for each of them so that you can try and write or type them down in a word processor.
However, you will have to take great care not to rely too much on this because those question formats are not the only ones that will appear in the CritiCall test.
This is because other questions will include you having to listen to a pre-recorded call or message mimicking a situation, report, or emergency, and you will have to input the details contained within that call as accurately as possible.
For example, the call will come in the form of a person reporting a house fire, and you will be given a series of questions revolving around it like what’s the name of the caller, the location or address mentioned, if they saw anyone in the house/see a description of a suspect, and many other details that may be important for responders to look out for.
As a result, it would be in your best interest to try and look for CritiCall practice tests as such things contain questions that are similar or near-identical to the ones you can see in the actual exam.
In essence, this is the main point of the 911 Critical Dispatcher test, and you should do your best to get everything in this section correct so that the hiring managers can be confident in your ability to become a dispatcher.