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See…I could sing a song, write an angry letter or I could send a blanket tweet, but I’m not going to do that. Instead I am going to acknowledge the bigger picture here, which are the 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers. Now, this isn’t the first time you were denied a reclassification. People fought for this and instead of waiting on the sidelines, many of you took this fight into your own hands by joining a grassroots movement to prove the difference between clerical and protective. You poured your hearts out by sharing your stories and once you did, there was no stopping it.
The Thin Gold Line joined forces for a common goal, to show the world what you do on a daily basis. Word spread of your heart wrenching stories. Others in public safety acknowledged your importance, callers shared their stories by thanking you for your help and those in different countries joined in solidarity by sharing their own stories. You opened the eyes of millions and although you were denied again, you gained respect and recognition your way. That my friends, is something to be proud of. I don’t see today’s decision as a failure or a loss. I see it as a win because your stories made a difference. Your stories have turned the news media around from showing bad stories to recognizing what you do, what it is like in dispatch and the stress and emotional weight it includes. We know how hard this job is and now…they do too.
Although I am upset with the response regarding the reclassification issue I am damn proud of the Thin Gold Line. Your stories reached out and let others know that they are not alone. We have healed and experienced a little closure and your stories will continue to reach a bigger audience. Thank you to those who supported us since day one, to those who have shared stories and those who continue to share. The movement continues…
I started the #IAM911 movement as something small, one voice, and I asked that everyone share their stories. Once you did, one voice became a worldwide shout from the Thin Gold Line. Because of your support and passion to show everyone what you do everyday, that you do more than answer the phone, the movement exploded.
Since the beginning I have been working on pushing your stories to a bigger audience and I’m about ready to reveal the next step. It’s an obvious one and people have asked since the beginning but…well…stay tuned. The movement continues…
A project by Within the Trenches Podcast Facebook Page Admin Shae.
Two years ago, I shared an article where the state of Tennessee was looking at making the status of their 911 Dispatchers “public safety” employees rather than “office clerical”.
And someone suggested that I was “denigrating” secretaries everywhere with this information. An article mind you, not written by me.
That struck a nerve with me then, and it’s still something that bothers me now. Not her words so much, but the fact that it’s two years later and we’re no closer to being realized for who we really are – the first, first responders.
So as a tribute to us, I’m asking for dispatch agencies all across the globe to send us a picture from your agency of what it really looks like in the throws of dispatch. Within the Trenches.
I’m asking for realistic, preferably candid photos of you or your team members, taken in your center. I want to tell a story through pictures, the heartache of hearing someone’s last breath, the helplessness of hearing the phone clatter to the ground – unable to help the person on the other end, the exhaustion on the faces of dispatchers after tragedy found their community.
I want people to watch this video and see in our faces that we are more than “just” secretaries. We are the first, first-responders. #IAM911
A few rules:
- No up close views of your CAD
- Realistic, preferably candid photos. (no smiling group photos for this project)
- Send your photos to the page or email them to email@example.com
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