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


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  


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



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.


  • Public safety dispatcher: $46,259 per year, up to $59,092
  • Senior public safety dispatcher: $53,672 per year, up to $68,536
  • Public safety dispatch shift supervisor: $61,967 up to $79,127

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.


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.


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.


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.