NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. April 28, 2020 – The Nevada County Board of Supervisors recognized Nancy Picker, a CAL FIRE NEU dispatcher whose last shift will be tomorrow – after 46 years of service to the community.

Nancy in front of the Grass Valley ECC

The certificate listed some of Nancy’s accomplishments, but here is the the full list :

1974- 1976  First job dispatching for Mineral County Sheriff’s office in Hawthorne, Nevada

1976-1979  Dispatcher for Nevada Highway Patrol in Reno

1983-1985 Dispatcher Chico PD, they consolidated with the fire department and decided she really liked fire dispatching and applied to CDF

1985 – 1989  Dispatcher/Clerk for TGU (Tehama Glenn Unit)

1989 – 1999  Moved to Grass Valley and was offered a job with the Tahoe National Forest as a Forestry Tech dispatcher, working fires such as the Crystal Fire, Cottonwood Fire, Trauner Fire, and the 49er Fire.

In 1990 she went through the JAC Academy to become a firefighter.

In 1992 Nancy was sent to Atlanta, to the GACC (Geographic area coordination center) to help with Hurricane Andrews relief.

During the rest of her career with the TNF she served as an AFEO (assistant fire engine operator)/ FEO (fire engine operator) on the White Cloud engine and responded to the Cleveland Fire, and the 2008 Lightning Complex on the Klamath and many fire assignments in Southern California in 1993.

Additional details off forest as a dispatcher at South OPS, Inyo National Forest, SFIDC (Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center) in Minden, Fuels Tech for Nevada City District and fire prevention for the Nevada City District.


Started with NEU as a Dispatch/Clerk and then reclassified as a Com/Op in 2009 dispatching fires such as the Robbers Fire, Stevens Fire, Martis Fire, Ponderosa Fire, Williams Fire, Yuba Fire, Colgate Fire and was an initial dispatcher on the Wind Complex in 2017.

For those unfamiliar with dispatcher jobs, CAL FIRE NEU Chief Brian Estes and ECC BAttalion Chief Steve Mueller provided some insights. 48-hour shifts during events like the Wind Complex or the Robbers Fire are not unusual.

Nancy is not leaving the emergency work completely, she will be assisting with the OES side during fire season. When not at the ECC, she organized the Forest Springs Mobile Home Park community, empowering the residents for emergencies like fire season and PSPS.

Editor’s note: Nancy’s biggest flaw is her “failing” at being a pet foster mom, but we have it on good authority the cats don’t mind finding a forever home with her 😉

We join her fire family and the BOS in wishing her a great and well-deserved retirement.