Department History

The Beginnings

In December of 1974 the new Law Enforcement Center was completed and the Communications Center combined police and sheriff dispatching. They were located in the same room with the City shift commanders but still dispatched their own departments respectively.

Fire Alarm

The Dubuque Fire Department alarm station was located at 9th St. Fire Headquarters. Both the alarm station and communications were manned by civilian dispatchers, but for lunch relief, sick time, and vacation, the positions were then filled in by officers, deputies and firefighters. The main line of communication between the alarm station and the communications center was the Red Phone, which was a direct line between the two departments.

When county fire and ambulance departments were needed, notification was made via fire phones that rang simultaneously into the volunteers homes.

Joint Public Safety Answering and Dispatch Point

In July of 1985 the City of Dubuque and Dubuque County consolidated all public safety communications within Dubuque County into a Joint Public Safety Answering and Dispatch Point (PSAP). This change streamlined communications and provided better 9-1-1 services for the citizens of Dubuque County. The 9-1-1 Center is now manned by all civilian dispatchers and is its own separate department.

Today’s Dispatchers

Dispatchers are highly trained and committed professionals who assist citizens 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They evaluate each call and send the appropriate response and, when necessary, handle the calls themselves. They provide a variety of information to the community and the departments they dispatch for and provide direction for everyone they come in contact with. The 9-1-1 Communications Center continues on their path to provide excellent service to their community and EMS family. Call 563.589.7856 or contact us to leave a comment, question, or concern.