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911 Home

Laurie Hood, Director
JD Cartwright, Deputy Director

501 N Spruce St
Ogallala, NE 69153
Phone: (308) 284-2011
Fax: (308)284-6951
DIAL 9-1-1

Keith County 911

Up until the mid 1960’s, if someone in Ogallala needed the Fire Department, they dialed the Northwestern Bell telephone operator in Ogallala. The Operator would flip a switch that activated an outdoor fire siren that would alert the firefighters to go to the fire hall to find out what type of fire and its location. If you needed Law Enforcement, during normal working hours, you would call the City Clerk’s Office. If the call was after hours, you called the telephone operator. In either case, if it was an emergency call for law enforcement, a single blast of the outdoor siren alerted police immediately to find a telephone to get their assignment. If it was a non-emergency, a light was activated at the corner of Spruce and Highway 30. When the police officer noticed the light, he (there were no female police officers at that time) would find a telephone to find out the problem. Ambulance services were provided by the local funeral homes who alternated weeks to provide coverage.

In the rest of Keith County, if someone needed the Fire Department, they dialed a telephone number that would ring into several homes in the community. If rural residents needed the County Sheriff, they dialed that number. Since the Sheriff’s living quarters were in the same building as his office, there was usually someone around to answer.                                                      

The first dispatch center, complete with two-way radio capabilities, was in the City Clerk’s Office located on South Spruce Street. It was initially staffed only during normal working hours unless there was a trusted prisoner in the local jail. If so, that trustee would be let out of their cell at night to answer the telephone and dispatch whatever was needed. That lasted only a brief time until there was a paid dispatcher on duty around the clock

In the late 1960’s, when the “new” City Hall was built (the present site of the Police Department), space was specially designed for a dispatch center. (911 first became available to Ogallala residents in 1971. By the mid-1980’s, 911 service was available countywide.

The dispatch center outgrew its space in the City Hall building. With a joint effort between the City of Ogallala and Keith County, a complete Emergency Operations Center and Dispatch Center was created in the basement of the County Jail building. Opened in 1985, this remains the home of our operations.

Enhanced 911 services (display of telephone number calling and name/address associated with it) became available in 1995. Over the course of the past 20 years, the Keith County 911 Center has expanded to also serve the residents of Deuel, Arthur, Grant, Hooker, Logan, McPherson and Perkins Counties.