General Information
Centrally located in the heart of Iowa, Ames is a vibrant, progressive community with more than 60,000 residents providing an excellent quality of life. Home to Iowa State University, Ames offers year-round recreation opportunities, diverse cultural offerings, a stable economy, safe neighborhoods, and a high-achieving school district.

The City of Ames is conducting a recruitment to establish a Civil Service eligibility list for this classification. The list will be valid for up to one year from the date of certification by the Ames Civil Service Commission and may be used to fill one or more vacancies in this classification. In addition, City of Ames Civil Service employees who have previously held Civil Service status in this classification and are interested in voluntarily demoting or laterally transferring into the current vacancy must submit their application by the deadline.

A Public Safety Dispatcher with the Ames Police Department performs work involved in the operation of a complex communications system; receives and handles both emergency and non-emergency communications from a wide range of sources; dispatches appropriate services, personnel, and and/or equipment in response to police, fire, or medical emergencies; and performs other related work as required. The work for this position is within a 24/7/365 environment and is subject to shift assignment and creates occasional mandatory overtime.

In order to be considered for this position, all applicants must submit their online application by the deadline listed on this posting. Your application includes complete responses to the supplemental questions. Please keep in mind that submission of a resume in lieu of work history on your application or answering the supplemental questions is not sufficient.

Current starting salary for this position, based on the bargaining unit agreement, is $24.1755/hour or an equivalent to $50,285 annually.


Our comprehensive benefits package can be viewed at: City of Ames Benefits

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program: The PSLF Program is a federal program that is intended to encourage individuals to work in public service by forgiving the balance of their federal student loans. To qualify, the individual must have made 120 qualifying payments while employed by a qualifying employer. For more information, please visit:

PSLF Program

Please see the Residency Requirement GIS link outlining the living area required for Police Boundary or Public, Professional and Maintenance Employees Local 2003 bargaining unit agreement required for this merit position to live within.

Examples of Essential Job Functions
Conducts in depth research by utilizing multiple various resources.
Answers emergency and non-emergency calls for service.
Receives and relays messages to appropriate personnel.
Directs requests for assistance for police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) to the appropriate agency.
Prioritizes calls for service and dispatches appropriate resources in accordance with established operating procedures.
Provides emergency medical instruction.
Operates radio console by receiving and transmitting radio communications.
Maintains contact with units at all times during shift assignment.
Maintains a continuous record of the status of mobile units, manual/automated logs, and records, including a log of all information received and transmitted.
Sends/receives computer terminal messages and routes messages to appropriate destinations.
Monitors cameras, alarms, and City Hall doors in case of required emergency lockdown.
Works with other Police divisions, such as Animal Control and Records, and all other City of Ames departments.
Operates other equipment essential to the position.
Other Job Functions:

Regularly exposed to sensitive and confidential information that cannot be discussed or shared outside the workplace.
Act as essential emergency personnel and are required to come to work in disaster and bad weather situations.
Each employee is expected to continually strive to bring shared values to life through our Excellence Through People organizational culture. ETP values include: committing to continuous improvement; inspiring creativity and innovation; being customer driven; making data-driven decisions; committing to diversity, equity and inclusion; championing employee involvement; striving for excellence; having fiscal stewardship; acting with honesty and integrity; exhibiting leadership; choosing a positive attitude; respecting one another; promoting safety and wellness; and cultivating teamwork. For leaders, this includes creating a work culture that brings these values to life. For all employees, this includes maintaining a Total City Perspective. The purpose of ETP is to deliver exceptional services to the public at the best price, and for employees to experience an enjoyable and stimulating work environment.
Education and Experience: Successful completion of high school, HiSet, or G.E.D. is required.

Applicants with related college coursework and/or two years relevant work experience, including working in a team environment while maintaining effective working relationships within fast paced ever changing environments may be preferred.

Licenses and Certificates: Must obtain IOWA/NCIC, CPR, and Emergency Medical Dispatching certifications within six months of appointment and re-certify as required. Must attend and successfully complete the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy 40-hour training course within one year of appointment.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required to Perform Essential Functions:

Must be able to maintain confidentiality with regard to work. Must be able to work in customer-oriented environment and demonstrate customer service principles, including exercising skill in responding to difficult customers. Must have high level of accuracy with work product. Must be reliable and able to adapt to shift work.

Public Safety Dispatchers must acquire competency in the following areas:

Knowledge of computer aided dispatching software.
Knowledge of emergency medical dispatching protocols.
Knowledge of the location of streets in Ames.
Knowledge of rules governing proper usage of state/federal software applications.
Knowledge of the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission covering the operation of radio receivers and transmitters.
Knowledge of the proper use and care of essential dispatcher equipment.
Skill in entering data quickly and accurately using a computer keyboard.
Skill in receiving and transmitting information quickly and accurately using a radio console and telephone.
Skill in communicating with members of the public and department staff both orally and in writing in a professional, clear, and concise manner at all times.
Skill in problem solving and troubleshooting when system errors and process interruptions arise.
Ability to work in a team environment and to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, personnel from other agencies and departments, and the general public.
Ability to be amicable with various communication styles and system switches/upgrades within an ever changing fast paced work environment.
Ability to stay calm and logically think/act through processes and procedures.
Ability to work and problem-solve quickly and calmly in emergency situations.
Ability to receive and comprehend multiple conversations simultaneously by telephone and radio while operating dispatch software.
Ability to multitask.
Ability to operate complex Public Safety related computer systems.
Ability to document and record events in a clear, complete, legible, and objective manner.
Ability to operate equipment common to a complex communications system.
Ability to speak clearly and concisely.
Ability to handle situations firmly, courteously, and tactfully.
Ability to adapt to varied working hours.
Supplemental Information
Required Physical Activities: Stooping, reaching, finger dexterity, talking, hearing, and repetitive motions.

Physical Characteristics of Work: Work is primarily sitting at a communication workstation requiring the exertion of negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. Requires exertion of up to 10 pounds of force frequently and 25 to 50 pounds of force infrequently.

Vision and Hearing Requirements: The minimum standard for vision is equivalent to those whose work deals largely with preparing and analyzing data and figures, accounting, transcription, computer terminal, and extensive reading. The minimum requirement for hearing is the ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, or to make fine discriminations in sound, such as when making fine adjustments on machined parts.

Environmental Conditions: The work is performed inside and may include being exposed to confined spaces, limited ventilation, and variable lighting conditions. Employees must be able to concentrate in an environment of noise and distraction.

Equipment Essential to the Job: Multi-line telephone, radio console, mapping software, copy machine, fax machine, pager, equipment for communicating with the hearing impaired, recorders, microphone, headset; computers, peripheral equipment, and software (such as “text to 911”); various operational manuals (both electronic and printed).

Work Hours

The work for this position is within a 24/7/365 environment and is subject to shift assignment and creates occasional mandatory overtime.

Residency Requirement

All employees governed by the PPME contract (which includes Public Safety Dispatchers) are required to reside within an area bordered by State Highway 65 on the east; and on the west, County Road R27 north of Boone and the Des Moines River south of Highway 30 on the west, Story County line on the north, and Polk County Road F-22 on the south. Communities intersected by the borderlines shall be considered within the area. For further details of what area this includes, please view the Ames Employee Residency Map link here: MAP.

Selection Process:

The selection process consists of an evaluation of education/experience; a written exam; a preliminary background check; a behavioral assessment, oral board interview, and simulation testing; an extensive background investigation (including criminal history, financial and employment verification, psychological exam (MMPI) and physical exam (including a drug test). Candidates must successfully pass each component to continue in the process.

All candidates will be notified by email of their application status.

**Preference may be given to applicants possessing qualifications above the minimum.**

Written Exam and Simulation Testing:

The written exam will be held on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 5:30pm. There may be another earlier session available, depending on the number of candidates testing. Simulation testing will occur for those passing the written exam and initial background checks. Locations of both exams will be provided to those candidates eligible to participate. Candidates are responsible for their own transportation and lodging costs to attend both exams.

For those passing the written exam, simulation testing (Criticall) will be conducted August 24-26, 2022. Candidates will be invited via email for times and locations.

E-Verify Process:

The City of Ames participates in E-Verify and will provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each applicant’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. All candidates who are offered a position with the City of Ames must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 along with the required proof of their right to work in the United States and proof of their identity on their first day of employment. Please be prepared to provide required documents on your first day of employment. For additional information regarding acceptable documents for this purpose, please contact Human Resources at 515-239-5199 or go to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services web page at:

Veteran’s Preference Points

The City of Ames provides Veteran’s Preference Points for Civil Service positions. A copy of your DD214 and, if applicable, proof of disability, must be attached with your application (or faxed to 515-239-5297) prior to the close date of the posting in order to receive Veteran’s Preference Points.

NOTE: Applicants with disabilities may submit requests for ADA testing or interview accommodations to the Human Resources Department prior to the test or interview.

The City of Ames is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, ancestry, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Human Resources Department at 515-239-5199.

For more information, please visit: