"You have to be able to handle stress and talk to the public, and communicate", says Sherry Martin, dispatcher.
But even those who can handle the job, need a little extra training.
"It's important, especially in these situations, because these dispatchers are often time the first person people talk to, and they need to be able to get information and relay that to [us]", explains Jimmy Hall, Abilene firefighter.
Today, all the training is hands-on, from working with chemicals, to learning how to get those uniforms on.
The dispatchers use technology to communicate with Abilene Police and Fire, but even inside the office, the field training comes in handy.
"When we hear the radio traffic, say a structure fire, we have a better idea of what's going on and understanding. And it helps the relationship between firefighters and dispatch", says Shane Meffert, dispatch training supervisor.
From the time the emergency call comes in, to the time the firefighters take off to the scene, communication is the most useful tool of all.