Skip to main content

Fire-Rescue Department

Application Process for Fire Dispatcher

1 Get started

Interested in a career in fire communications? Experienced or not, it all starts here! Sign up and get further information from San Diego Fire-Rescue. Let us help you achieve your goal!

*Age, ethnicity, and gender are completely OPTIONAL. This information will only be used for data collection purposes and will not be used in any way to evaluate or screen applicants.

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Contact Info
Optional Info

2 Meet the minimum requirements

You must meet the following requirements on the date you apply, unless otherwise indicated.

AGE: You must be at least 18 years old to apply (no maximum age).

EDUCATION: Graduation from high school OR passage of the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) or General Education Development (GED) examination.

CITIZENSHIP: You must be a United States citizen or have the current legal right to work in the United States.

DISPATCHER I – Entry Level, no dispatching experience required. Learn more and apply for Dispatcher I position

DISPATCHER II – Six months as a Dispatcher I with the City of San Diego OR one year dispatching for a law enforcement or fire agency. Learn more and apply for the Dispatcher II position

FIRE DISPATCHER – One year of experience dispatching for a fire or emergency medical services agency.  Learn more and apply for the Fire Dispatcher position

3 Submit an application

Go to the City's Open Job Opportunities page to fill out an application for Dispatcher I, Dispatcher II, and/or Fire Dispatcher.

4 Take the CritiCall Exam

If you pass the application phase, you’ll be invited to take the CritiCall Exam. This is a computer-based performance test. Helpful information about the test:

5 Panel Interview

If you receive a passing score on the CritiCall exam, you’ll be notified by the Personnel Department and placed on the eligible list. SDFD will contact you to request a résumé. Interviews will be offered to qualified applicants and scheduled prior to the start of the next dispatcher academy.

If you have questions about any portion of the process, please contact the Personnel Department by email at or 619-236-6400.

6 Conditional Job Offer

Applicants who successfully complete the interview process will be given a conditional job offer and scheduled for a medical evaluation and Department of Justice background check.