Decades of dispatching: the heroes you never see

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Firefighters, EMTs and police officers are often the people we associate with local heroes. But there's another part of emergency response that pulls all the strings behind the scenes, they're called dispatchers.

Over the past three decades, their job has evolved and more change is coming this spring.

"9-1-1 what's your emergency," asks Mark Murphy as he answers a call in the temporary 911 center.

This is a question he's been asking people, over and over, everyday, for nearly 30 years.

"We didn't have mapping back then, and so now we can map cellular phone calls," said Murphy.

The technology is constantly changing, but the job is always helping people in crisis.

"You have to have thick skin. You are going to be exposed to many different things many people don't want to be exposed to," said Murphy.

In recent years, they've had to learn how to handle many more mental health calls.

"But a lot of the times people know they have these mental illnesses, they know they suffer from it, and their medicine is off for whatever reason and now they're experiencing these episodes and so they call up and say, you know, 'this is happening and I'm wanting some help," said Murphy.

And within the last decade, they can now give medical instructions over the phone.

"It's actually quite often that we do CPR over the phone," said Murphy.

From CPR to how to treat a gunshot wound or stab wound, to child birth.

"We talk about how we deliver babies in here, we don't. We get to listen. It always happens faster than I can read the instructions and all of mine have come out very well," said Murphy.

Murphy and the other dispatchers will have a lot of change this spring when they move to a brand new remodeled 911 center. It will have some upgraded technology and mapping tools along with more accessible furniture.

Murphy said it'll also have space to add positions if they're needed in the future.