Emergency Communications | 911 Center

Overview

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Welcome to the Lincoln's Emergency Communications | 911 Center. The Communications Center provides dispatching service for the Lincoln Police Department, Lincoln Fire & Rescue, the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, 14 rural fire agencies, as well as the non-emergency telephone lines for police and sheriff.

The center is staffed by a team of highly trained communications specialists. There are approximately 36 emergency service dispatchers and call takers classified at various levels. They are trained to handle a variety of police, sheriff, fire and medical emergencies. The dispatchers are responsible for receiving, prioritizing, and sending appropriate assistance to the citizens of Lincoln, Lancaster County and the surrounding area. In addition, the dispatchers provide callers with emergency medical dispatch instructions when needed.

In order to help best serve the public, the Communications Center asks that you use the 9-1-1 emergency line only when there is an immediate risk to life or property.


Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Call 9-1-1?

  • Any medical emergency
  • In-progress or just-occurred crimes
  • Any crime involving weapons (guns, knives, clubs, etc)
  • Domestic violence, in-progress or threatened
  • Any vehicle accident involving injuries
  • Anytime a suspect is still in or near the area
  • Fire of any kind

Non-emergencies

If you are calling to report a crime that has already occurred at some time in the past, or to ask a question, please call the non-emergency number: 402-441-6000. This direct number to the dispatch center is available 24 hours a day to handle calls for Police, Fire and Sheriff. Some examples of times when it is appropriate to use the non-emergency number are:

  • Past auto theft
  • Past damage of property
  • Past theft of property
  • Noise problems (parties, music, etc.)

For general information or questions about 911 and the Lincoln Emergency Communication Center, you can call 402-441-6000.

What Happens When I Call 9-1-1?

To help dispatchers prioritize your call and to provide the responding officers with the information they need, everyone is asked a standard set of questions. Your dispatcher will need to know:

  1. Location of the problem
    Even though your telephone number and address should be shown on the dispatcher's console, we will want to confirm that the address is correct. Also, you may be calling from a location that is different from the address where you are calling. Be sure to give your telephone number and extension to the dispatcher.
  2. Type of problem
    The dispatcher will need to know if you are reporting an emergency or something that is not an emergency. You will be asked for a basic description of what occurred and, if applicable, When the incident happened.
  3. All available information
    Do not leave out information because you don't think that it is important. The more we know about an incident, the more effective we can be in helping you.
    • A description of the suspect, including clothing
    • Whether a weapon was involved and, if so, what type
    • A description and direction of travel of vehicle if one was involved
  4. Medical emergencies
    After initial information has been obtained, we ask that you stay on the line for medial instructions after the responders have been dispatched. During the call the dispatcher will ask for information about the patient that is helpful to the paramedics. In many cases, the dispatcher can give you information on how to help the patient until responders arrive.

Tips to Remember

If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP! Tell the dispatcher that you called by mistake and that you do not have an emergency. Any time a dispatcher receives a 911 "hang up", the caller must be contacted to be sure that no actual emergency exists. This may require that an officer be needlessly dispatched to your home or office to ensure the well being of all persons there.

When calling from a cellular phone or remote location, be aware of mile markers, streets and cross streets, so we can better pinpoint where the emergency is.

Live Audio Feed

Lincoln Police and Fire & Lancaster County Sheriff Live Audio Feed

Pulse Point | AED

Pulse Point logo Imagine that you are in a restaurant having lunch with a few friends. You hear a siren in the distance and think to yourself, “I wonder where they are going?” The siren gets louder and closer, and then you actually see a fire engine approaching in the distance. Suddenly, surprisingly, the engine turns into the parking lot and parks right in front of the crowded restaurant where you’re eating. That’s when you learn that right next door, someone is unconscious after suffering a cardiac arrest. If you only knew, maybe you could have made a difference. — PulsePoint.org

Quality Assurance

"To serve and support the public safety communications needs of our customers in the most efficient and responsive manner possible."


EMD program ProQA card set In support of the vision, we have maintained a Quality Assurance (QA) program to assist in providing our trained dispatchers with supportive tools to meet this goal. The Lincoln Emergency Communications Center utilizes the Priority Dispatch System’s Emergency Medical Dispatch Program (EMD) in handling request for emergency medical assistance.

The EMD program consists of either a set of protocol cards or a computer program called ProQA that directs the dispatcher to ask the caller a series of questions based on the nature of the medical emergency. The card set is used as a backup method to the computer program.

The EMD program enables the dispatcher to determine the most appropriate medical response priority. It also provides written Post-Dispatch and Pre-Arrival instructions to give to callers when appropriate and possible. Included in this process is a Quality Assurance program. All certified EMD dispatchers receive ongoing feedback on their performance based on guidelines established by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch and Emergency Medical Services Oversight Authority (EMSOA). The purpose of Quality Assurance is to provide a non-punitive means of assisting staff in maintaining a high level of performance.

Public Education

The Lincoln Emergency Communication Center/911 continues its tradition of community involvement by providing presentations to schools and community groups, as well as scheduling tours of the 911 Center upon request. Groups are given information about how to use the 911 system and what to expect when calling 911 or the non-emergency police number (402-441-6000).

We use a variety of resources for our presentations and can tailor one to fit your group's needs. For kindergarten through second grade, we use a short animated video emphasizing how and when to use 911. This video features a character named Sally Cellphone and was created by the Commission on State Emergency Communications in Texas. PowerPoint presentations have been developed for older children through adults. Also, we can bring our 911 Simulator. By using the simulator's phone, a person participates in a question and answer dialogue with a realistic emergency operator. A three digit display shows the numbers dialed and two speakers allow others to hear the phone conversation. This process takes about a minute per person. The 911 Simulator provides a wonderful opportunity for people to make a "practice" 911 call.

If you would like to schedule a presentation or tour, please contact Brandi Villamonte at Lincoln 911 Public Education or call the non-emergency number 402-441-6000.


Incident Dispatch Team

Incident Dispatch Team The Lincoln Emergency Communications Center Incident Dispatch Team (IDT) provides unified command communications and support during major events by integrating into the existing command post and operating under the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Operating under a Homeland Security grant, Lincoln completed the development of a state TERT team in 2009. The Nebraska Telecommunicator Emergency Response Team (NE-TERT) is comprised of dispatchers from across the state. TERT is a national initiative created to provide personnel to support Communications Centers either in-state or out of state during times of disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, where employees are overwhelmed, affected by personal loss or both.

The Lincoln IDT/TERT members are fully deployable to respond and assist other Communications Centers during a natural or manmade disaster under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Sharon Codr serves as our NE-TERT State Coordinator. Incident dispatching provides new avenues for career development while enhancing the dispatcher's role within the public safety system.

 

Employment

Job Description

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.

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


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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

Becoming a Public Safety Dispatcher  


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Start the process with an online application. All applications are submitted through City of Lincoln's Human Resources Department. If you would like to be notified when the next application cycle begins, sign up for electronic notification.

During the selection process, candidates must pass a written test, oral interview, background investigation, medical evaluation and psychological evaluation. Candidates must be successful in each phase of the process and may be eliminated or disqualified at any point for failure to meet the criteria. The entire selection process typically takes 60 to 120 days.

Upon hiring, dispatch recruits complete a 6 week academy and field training program. 

If you have questions about hiring, training or working at LPD, Contact a Recruiter

Benefits

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The City of Lincoln provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package that includes generous medical, dental, and vision plans, as well as life insurance and longevity pay.

Salary


  • Public safety dispatcher: $41,941 per year, up to $53,560
  • Senior public safety dispatcher: $48,645 per year, up to $62,115
  • Public safety dispatch shift supervisor: $56,164 up to $71,716

In addition, employees are paid at the rate of time and one-half for all overtime hours and qualifying shifts receive shift differential of $.70 per hour. On-call pay is also a contract provision.

Vacation


During the first five years of service, employees are given 88 hours of vacation per year. After five years, 120 hours per year. After ten years, 136 hours per year. After 12 years, 148 hours per year. After 15 years, 168 hours per year. After 20 years, 195 hours per year. After 25 years, 200 hours per year.

Educational Pay


An employee may be reimbursed up to $1,250 annually for approved college courses.

Longevity Pay


An employee will receive an additional $1,167 annually after completing the tenth year of service. This longevity pay will increase at the completion of 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service with the top end longevity pay at $2,876 annually.

Holidays


Shift employees may be paid for ten holidays each year. In addition, the City will provide 16 additional non-cumulative personal holiday hours each fiscal year.

Sick Leave


Employees earn eight hours of sick leave for each full month of service. Sick leave is earned but cannot be taken during the first six months of employment.

Insurance


The City shall provide each regular employee a $70,000 life insurance policy.

Employee Representation


Public safety dispatchers are represented by the Lincoln City Employees Association (LCEA) union.

The City of Lincoln is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer who is committed to recruit, hire, promote or transfer employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, age (40-70), marital status, receipt of public assistance, or political affiliation, except that no person shall be employed who advocates or belongs to a group which advocates the violent overthrow of our government.

These benefits are currently provided and are subject to change due to collective bargaining sessions between the Lincoln City Employees Association Union and the City of Lincoln.

Reports

  • Performance Measurements for Emergency Call Processing
  • Public Safety Radio System Assessment
  • Annual Reports

View Reports