Chemical Dependency Program Screener/Emergency Services Patrol

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Mental Health
Posted on January 5, 2022
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The Department of Community and Human Services values diverse perspectives and life experiences. The Department encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with lived experiences.  

King County's 
Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) provides equitable opportunities for people to be healthy, happy, and connected to community.

The Emergency Service Patrol Screener team provides assistance and/or intervention to persons who are or appear to be incapacitated and/or intoxicated in the street or other public areas. Interventions include screening by visual inspection and brief conversation to determine the need for detox or other medical services. Incumbents pick up and transport clients to and from designated facilities and to areas of choice for the person being assisted. The team provides assistance to homeless/low-income persons in need of transportation or resources.

WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to all qualified candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. 

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Candidates who wish to be considered for this position must submit an online King County application and respond to the supplemental questions. Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the requested and relevant information in the online application and supplemental questionnaire. Applications and/or supplemental questionnaires that state, “see my resume” are considered incomplete and will not be considered to be competitive.

WORK SCHEDULE: This applicant pool will be used to fill temporary on call positions. Work schedules may include nights (graveyard), weekends, and holidays. Shifts are typically 8 hours/day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This position meets the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is overtime eligible with prior supervisory pre-approval.

UNION MEMBERSHIP: Positions in this classification are represented by Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 117.


Job Duties

  • Patrol assigned areas in a 15-passenger van, and respond to calls from 911 and others to pick up persons in need of substance use disorder intervention services in public places.
  • Conduct brief screening of the person's condition and help determine the final destination, in consultation with the person and other caregivers. 
  • Assist persons into the van. Persons may need encouragement or resist assistance. Resistant behaviors range from actively aggressive (verbally hostile or physically violent) to passive resistance in not being able to independently enter the van without being physically assisted into the van by staff.
  • Monitor and intervene using de-escalation techniques which includes the use of the least amount of physical force when physical or verbal altercations occur in the van while in transit. 
  • Transport clients to community resources, with a focus on access to shelter, housing, behavioral health treatment, medical, case management and employment services.
  • Provide outreach and engagement services on the streets to offer service information and linkage to survival services and/or structured case management services or behavioral health/medical treatment. 
  • Develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with sobering center staff, outreach staff and other service or resource organizations to ensure continuity of care for persons.
  • Maintain the safety and security of persons by using visual and auditory cues that indicate whether or not persons are stable and safe after pickup and during transit to their destination.
  • Minimize risk to self and team partner by using Universal Precaution principles while transporting persons who may have blood borne and/or airborne diseases.
  • Adhere to principles of standard defensive driving and compliance with state and local traffic regulations at all times despite distractions in the environment in route to destination sites.
  • Perform job responsibilities in a manner that respects and promotes dignity at all times even when challenged by people being served or bystanders.
  • Operate two-way radios in professional manner using proper radio etiquette in relaying and responding to calls.
  • Accurately complete paper written reports with handwriting that is legible and all content grammatically correct and complete.
  • Enter electronic data by typing and saving data via computer to record information as needed.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Minimum of one year experience driving a 15-passenger van.
  • Knowledge of the Seattle downtown intersections.
  • Basic knowledge of signs and symptoms of substance abuse. 
  • Skill in detecting signs of intoxication.
  • Minimum of two years of work experience working, engaging or intervening with persons who are in active addiction. 
  • Skill in defusing verbal aggression, hostile or violent behavior.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills. May require skill testing to demonstrate effective communication skills. 
  • Effective problem solving skills using conflict resolution techniques which result in positive outcomes, and the ability to apply patience and common sense as needed.
  • Effective interpersonal skills in working with and promoting positive team work.
  • Ability to sit in a restricted driving position in the van for an hour or more without stopping and stretching.
  • Ability to lift an average person weighing 150 pounds from the ground into the van without assistance.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team that displays sound decision making in the absence of onsite supervisory oversight.
  • Current CPR card or attainable within 90 days.
  • Current Basic First Aid card or attainable within 90 days.
  • Current certificate of completion of a Defensive Driving Course or the ability to obtain King County Defensive Driving Training card within six months of hire.

Desired Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills:

  • Knowledge of specific areas in which public inebriates congregate in downtown Seattle.
  • Familiarity with the 12 Step Program, or other recovery models, including Stages of Change and its application to the Emergency Services Patrol (ESP) mission.
  • Direct experience interacting with the chronic homeless public inebriates.
  • Proficiency in English and Spanish.

Please Note: An offer of employment will be contingent on meeting the following conditions:

  • Possession of a valid, unencumbered Washington State driver's license at the time of hire.
  • Ability to pass a post offer/pre-employment physical examination.
  • Ability to pass a Washington State Patrol Background Check on a post offer/Pre-employment basis.

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.

As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:

  • submit proof of vaccination, or
  • have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply

If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact the recruiter listed on this job announcement.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Are you applying to this position as an eligible Current or Previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant AND Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff AND Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff
How many years of experience do you have driving a passenger van?
  • Less than one year
  • 1 - 3 years
  • 3 - 5 years
  • Over 5 years
How many years of experience do you have engaging or intervening with persons who are actively addicted?
  • Less than 2 years
  • 2 - 4 years
  • 4 - 6 years
  • Over 6 years
Describe your experience working or interacting with persons who are chronic homeless and public inebriates.
Describe your familiarity with how to access local treatment programs, 12 step programs, or other recovery models, including Stages of Change and its application to the Emergency Services Patrol (ESP) mission.
Are you available and willing to work the following days and shifts? Check all that apply.
  • Sunday - Saturday
  • 8am - 4pm
  • 4pm - midnight
  • Midnight - 8am
Are you available to work relief coverage for full or partial shifts to provide temporary coverage, as needed?
  • Yes
  • No
King County has transformed its work on equity and social justice from an initiative to an integrated effort that applies the principle of "fair and just" intentionally in all the county does in order to achieve equitable opportunities for all people and communities. What is the most important equity or social justice issue to you?

Required Question