Toronto Paramedic Services is the sole provider of emergency ambulance response within the City of Toronto. A critical component of our mandate is to maintain and operate a thoroughly integrated Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC). This facility, fully equipped with high-end, groundbreaking telecommunications technology, ensures that the public gains immediate access to Toronto’s emergency medical resources.
The smooth and efficient operation of the CACC is entirely dependent on the dedication, expertise and professionalism of the dispatch staff.
If you are considering a career in this field, the following will give you an overview of our selection process, training programs and additional information which should help you determine if the position of call taker is right for you.
New Intake Selection Process
The goal of this process is to identify candidates who possess the core competencies and fundamental skills necessary to become an effective call taker. There are a number of stages involved in the process. (Please note that a candidate must be successful at each stage in order to move on to the next.)
Stage 1: Résumé/Application Review
Résumés are thoroughly reviewed relative to the qualifications and requirements found in the job description. Résumés must be submitted online (a link to the online process is provided below). Applicants whose résumés have been accepted from this review may be invited to proceed to the next stage.
Stage 2: CritiCall Test
Candidates invited to participate in Stage 2 will take the CritiCall exam. This is a computer-based test which will evaluate call taking skills; computer-related multitasking; keyboarding/data entry skills; geographical knowledge of Toronto, and medical terminology of the applicant. You can learn more about CritiCall testing on the CritiCall website.
It is recommended that you prepare yourself for the selection process with Toronto Paramedic Services Communications Centre Recruitment Preparation Package. This set of interactive programs can be viewed from your home computer. Answering the questions posed in the programs will help you decide whether working in the Toronto Paramedic Services Communications Centre is the right career path for you. It will also help to familiarize you with some of the infrastructure of the City of Toronto.
Your responses to these questions are private and for your personal use only; they will not be recorded or kept as part of your application process.
Toronto Paramedic Services Communications Centre Recruitment Preparation PackageSave the applicable version to your computer – it is a large file (400 MB/ 500MB for the Mac Version) so it may take some time depending on the speed of your connection. Note that this application has not been updated in a number of years with regards to our service and the City of Toronto, but should still be a useful study tool.
Mac users: we have updated this application to work in Mac OS X 10.7 and newer. Mountain Lion (Mac OS X 10.8) introduced a feature called “Gatekeeper” which by default prevents applications from unidentified developers (like ours!) from running. If you are running Mountain Lion or later and receive an error message that says, “Start can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer,” when you double-click it, please follow the instructions in this article in the section headed, “How to bypass Gatekeeper on a case-by-case basis.”
If you experience any other issues with the application, let us know.
Stage 3: In-Person Interview
Those candidates who pass CritiCall will be invited for an interview. This is the first stage in the process where a candidate meets in person with Toronto Paramedic Services employees. This is your opportunity to demonstrate to us in person why you should be employed by Toronto Paramedic Services as a call taker.
As part of the assessment process at Stage 3, candidates will be asked for references. You will be asked to supply a minimum of three (3) work-related references from a previous supervisor/manager..
Stage 4: Reference Check/Offer of Employment
Successful candidates will receive a letter of Conditional Offer of Employment from Toronto Paramedic Services. Candidates will be required to complete and pass a three day MPDS (Medical Priority Dispatch System) course at their own cost. This will be offered on site. Successful candidates will have three (3) days to respond – either accepting or rejecting the offer. Those who accept the offer will enter the final Stage 5 – Call Taker Training.
Stage 5: The Call Taker Training Program
This rigorous internal City of Toronto training program happens after you have been hired. It is taught by Toronto Paramedic Services instructors at Toronto Emergency Services Headquarters.
Call Taker Training
The focus of this training is the critical protocols, procedures and systems essential for the processing of requests for 911 emergency ambulance services.
The Call Taker Training Program combines a comprehensive in-class component with concurrent practical call-processing activities as well as an online modular component. Throughout the program, the recruit’s development is supported with continuous feedback and one-on-one coaching to ensure a steady progression of skills. At the conclusion of the Call Taker Training Program, the new recruit must demonstrate competency in 911 call handling and documentation.
A process of continual performance review and feedback is provided during the entire call taker training experience to ensure that the recruit is compliant and competent with all fundamental Standard Operating Procedures.
Upon successful completion of the Call Taker Training Program, the recruit is assigned to one of the dispatch shifts where they develop and enhance their newly acquired skills with the support of experienced peers and supervisory staff. Call takers work on 12-hour rotating shifts which include days, evenings, nights and holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Call Taker:
Do I need any special training, courses, etc. in order to apply for the position of call taker?
You require current certification (as of the day that you apply) in CPR (Level “C”) and Standard First Aid.
A recognized Emergency Telecommunicator’s course, although not required, would also be considered a valuable asset. Several community colleges in the GTA such as Humber College, Durham College, and Seneca College offer these programs.
Toronto Paramedic Services is seeking individuals with related education/experience in telecommunications. We also require that you have customer service experience. You must also have graduated Grade 12 (or equivalent).
When will the next hiring take place?
Periodic updates for hiring new recruits will be posted on this website.
How and where do I apply?
We are accepting applications on an ongoing basis. To submit your application click here.
The City of Toronto only accepts job applications through our online form. Please do not email or mail résumés or applications directly to Toronto Paramedic Services.
Applicants are responsible for the safe and timely arrival of their documents. All applications and résumés are kept on file for a period of six months. Committed to employment equity, The City of Toronto encourages applications from Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, racial minorities and women.
Factors to Consider:
- Being a call taker means participating in a busy, active, constantly challenging work environment.
- This career requires shift work: 12 hour shifts, days, evenings, nights, and holidays.
- Mastering state-of-the-art communications technology.
- Can you picture this as a career for you?
- To help determine whether a career in call taking is for you, we have included a self-assessment survey that you can access by clicking on this link.
For more information about becoming a call taker or EMDTake the Toronto Paramedic Services self-assessment survey.
Read about emergency medical dispatcher responsibilities.