Life as a Dispatcher

If you have questions or wish to learn more about becoming a dispatcher, please contact us by filling out our information request form.

Nature of Work

This is responsible technical work receiving and dispatching emergency service calls on an assigned shift. This class is not intended to include those employees who respond to routine information inquiries from the general public. The critical requirement of this class is receiving calls for emergency service and dispatching emergency service units on a regular basis.

Photograph of work being performed

Work involves operating an emergency service console receiving and dispatching calls for police and sheriff units, fire companies, EMS (emergency medical systems) units, fire/rescue squads and other emergency services. Responsibilities include operating radio consoles, CAD (computer aided dispatch) terminals, EMD (emergency medical dispatch) systems, and related emergency communication equipment; receiving calls via the 911 emergency lines; performing radio tests on communication equipment; maintaining logs and records of all calls received and nature and disposition of each dispatch; maintaining CAD status monitor of units in and out of service; and transferring or referring calls to proper local, state, and federal agencies.

Work requires the prompt, efficient and accurate receiving, dispatching and processing of emergency calls over the 911 and related seven-digit systems from the general public and other authorized personnel requiring emergency actions by the police, sheriff, fire, EMS units, fire/rescue squads and other emergency services. Although new or unusual problems may be referred to a superior for advice and assistance, work is ordinarily performed independently following well established procedures. Supervision is received from and administrative superior with work being reviewed in the form of reports, conferences and effectiveness of services provided.

Examples of Work Performed

Photograph of work being performed

Receives calls via 911 emergency number and seven-digit phone lines; screens and transfers or refers calls to proper local, state and federal agencies; obtains information from caller regarding the emergency or non-emergency situation including fires, medicals emergencies and service calls; dispatches appropriate fire/medical apparatus for the city of Lincoln and surrounding rural fire districts; enters required data into CAD (computer aided dispatch) terminal so as to track time, location and nature of each dispatch; maintains visual status monitor of fire/medical apparatus in accordance with established procedures to insure proper coverage throughout the city; maintains radio contact with all city and county fire units; utilizes resources such as maps, reference files and policy manuals.

Receives calls for police and sheriff services; obtains information from caller regarding the emergency or non-emergency situation; dispatches appropriate police or sheriff unit(s) for the Lincoln Police or Lancaster County Sheriff Departments; maintains status monitor of police and sheriff units in and out of service; conducts radio checks according to established procedures to verify officer safety.

Desirable Knowledge, Abilities and Skills

  • Knowledge of the names and locations of principle streets and buildings in Lincoln, Nebraska and surrounding villages in Lancaster County.
  • Knowledge of the types, staffing requirements and uses of firefighting apparatus and police units.
  • Knowledge of the operation of communication and emergency services equipment.
  • Ability to think and act quickly and calmly in emergency situations.
  • Ability to obtain accurate and complete information from callers who may be frantic and incoherent due to emergency conditions.
  • Ability to speak clearly and concisely in a well modulated voice and to use good diction.
  • Ability to function accurately while working under considerable pressure.
  • Ability to understand and follow moderately complex oral and written instructions and procedures.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with public safety officials, co-workers, and the general public.
  • Skill in the operation of a computer terminal.

Desirable Training and Experience

Graduation from a senior high school or equivalent with experience in the operation of communication and emergency service equipment utilized in dispatching public safety and medical emergency personnel.

Minimum Qualifications

Graduation from a senior high school or equivalent; or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the desirable knowledge, abilities and skills.

Selection Process

Dispatcher Selection Process Flowchart

Positions Available

To check and apply for available jobs in the future at the 911 Center or Lincoln/Lancaster County, you will first need to create a MyInterLinc Account.