The Morning After
When I awoke I knew it would happen;
mouth watery, world spinning, body sweating like dew.
This was not a thought last night during the clappin’;
the time has come to pay my due.
Stumbling, praying, falling out of bed;
trying to get up, trying to think,
the light hammers pounding at my head,
kneel to the one you know, not the sink.
The Porcelain God awaits the feeble;
mouth watery, world spinning, body sweating like dew.
The God will help for good not for evil,
hug him close, now pay your due.
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By Ricardo — 3 months ago
I recently sent someone an #IAM911 story. The person responded saying that the story was heart wrenching but they asked a question after that, “can you tell me what it’s like to be on the receiving end of these calls?” The following was my response.
Imagine your brother has been dealing with a bad break up. You go to the bar and after a few drinks he tells you he wants to kill himself. You tell him to stop talking like that. It’s not the end of the world. You head home and when you arrive your brother mentions suicide again. Fed up with what he is saying you go inside, grab a gun and take it outside. You hand it to your brother and say, “If you really want to then do it.” You think that he will realize how stupid of an idea this is and will change his mind but…he grabs the gun and shoots himself in the head killing himself in front of you.
Now imagine you’re 9-1-1, receiving this call and only hearing screams. It sounds like two females screaming over the phone. You ask, “What’s your address? Ma’am? Can you hear me?” The screaming continues and you type out, “Unknown situation.” You remember a technique from your training and bring your voice to a whisper tricking the caller into thinking no one is there.
The screaming stops, “Hello? Hello?”
“This is 9-1-1, what’s your address and what is going on?”
While she tells you the address you hear screaming in the background.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE HE DID IT! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”
“Who is there with you?”
“My boyfriend and his brother who shot himself outside.”
“Who is the other female screaming?”
“That was my boyfriend…”
You realize the pain in the boyfriend and although you are strong and calm on the phone, in the back of your head all you can think about is your own brother.
“Ma’am, the police and ambulance are on the way.”
“The ambulance is coming ok?”
You hear your caller try to comfort her boyfriend but you hear him yell something that you will never forget.
“What the hell is an ambulance going to do? My brother’s face is all over the snow!”
The screaming continues and you hear your caller yell that her boyfriend now has the gun. He yells that he wants to kill himself. You tell her to get away from him and he eventually drops the gun and runs back outside. Police arrive and what felt like 15 minutes worth of chaos was more like 3 minutes. Police secure the boyfriend outside and rush in to check out the caller. She continues to cry and says thank you. You hang up the phone and sit there in shock.
“Are you ok,” your supervisor asks.
“Yeah I’m good,” you respond.
But you’re not good. You’re rocked and the screams echo in your head. For the next 3 hours they echo in your head and all you want to do is call your own brother just to hear his voice.
When you finally get the chance you tell him you love him. He asks what happened and after you tell him about the call he says, “I love you too.”
This is what it is like to be on the receiving end of these calls. This was a call that I took and this was years ago but I can still hear those screams of heartache. It never goes away. It is always there but you face it and manage it. I have said that taking a 9-1-1 call is like getting in a car, slamming the gas pedal and letting go of the steering wheel. I used to bury these calls and I caused more damage that way. Now I talk about them and it’s therapeutic for me. A big thing to understand is that 9-1-1 dispatchers are not drones. We don’t JUST answer the phone. We are there with you throughout the entire call and we may be calm and at the top of our game but in the back of our minds we are feeling your emotion. After the call, if there is time, we can reflect on it but the majority of the time? We pick up the next call and have no time to decompress.
I hope this answers your question…
RicardoPost Views: 8,390
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Good evening folks! It’s been some time since I’ve posted to The Creative Corner but earlier today I saw a link that led me to some excellent poetry. I was so moved by it that I felt it needed to be featured. The poetry comes from Lindsay Tuhacek, a graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Exercise Science and an emphasis in cardiac rehabilitation. She is a dedicated health and fitness advocator, writer, and mother of four. This talented woman does it all and from what I’ve read, her poems display a sense of honesty and sincerity that people can relate to. After reading her poem “I may”, off her blog “Raw Emotion Poetry”, I immediately felt the need to make contact with Lindsay to see if I could feature her work on the Creative Corner. I also wanted to ask what inspires her to write. In her own words;
“I got into poetry in high school as a way to release my frustrations and emotions, as I was never comfortable in seeking out others to confide in. I have a hard time expressing who I really am because I have always felt distant from everyone else. Poetry has allowed me to say what I need to say without speaking. It has allowed me to work through the anger, sadness, insecurities and hardships I faced when I was younger. My inspiration is mainly drawn from my personal life regarding, my emotions, my experiences and my feelings. Sometimes I draw inspiration from stories I hear, but mostly from my own. I am a very passionate person and have a calling to help people. I think poetry is a good way to reach and connect with those who can relate and need something to help them through their own experiences. I did not realize this until I started following Kirk Latimer of Kinetic Affect. They are absolutely amazing. I learned a lot about myself through the process.”
The work of Lindsay Tuhacek can be found on her blog, as mentioned above, at Raw Emotion Poetry. I will provide her poem “I may” below but you must read the rest of her work. So without further ado, I present to you, I may.
I may not be pretty
But I have a good heart
I may not be funny
But I love to laugh
I may not be smart
But I love to learn
I may not have the voice
But I love to sing
I may not have the moves
But I love to dance
I may look like I am happy
But I cry everyday
I may seem to be angry
But I am lonely instead
I may seem to be strong
But I am as weak as they come
I may appear independent
But I need you around
I may seem to be bulletproof
But I am covered in holes
So don’t judge the outside
It is only a shield
A place that protects
What I honestly feel
I’m not an open book
I have secrets I hide
And I wait for the one
Who will see me inside
Source: Raw Emotion Poetry
Click for more info on Kinetic AffectPost Views: 215
By Ricardo — 7 months ago
“To walk among heroes”
Guest blog post –
Written by –
Billy Short – Technical Trainer with RPSS
It was the last class of my training assignment for a PSAP in Louisiana. The training part of my class was over, so I broke into my post class “appreciation speech.” Since becoming a technical trainer for 911 dispatchers, my eyes had been opened to things that I guess, I had always taken for granted. I shared with the class how that I, as a citizen, truly appreciated the work that dispatchers perform. I had come to realize that most dispatchers were never truly recognized, or honestly appreciated for their work. I shared with them how that I had come to believe that they were the “first”, first responders. I had witnessed many community organizations and churches having appreciation events for other First Responder heroes, but I noticed that the members of the dispatch teams were never given a seat at that table of honor.
I shared how that now, I somewhat understood the roller coaster of emotion that a 911 calltaker could be on, simply by answering the next ringing telephone. I knew that one minute they would be able to feel their blood pressure rise in aggravation to a caller wondering when the electrical power would be restored to their neighborhood, or a caller wanting the phone number to the local tax office. To answering the next call and experiencing the desperate cries of a mother that had just pulled the lifeless body of her toddler from a swimming pool. I shared with the class my appreciation for their professionalism when taking a call from someone who just seemed to be having a difficult day, and needing to complain to someone, to the next call from someone that is having the absolute worse day of their life because their mate of 52 years was lying in the floor unresponsive.
I thanked them for doing the often-thankless job of giving CPR instructions over the phone until EMS arrived at the scene. I thanked them for trying to comfort a scared child, who left alone in the house, hears a scary noise outside. I tried my best to express my love, admiration, and appreciation for the job that they do, day in, day out, around the clock, and through the holidays. I also extended to them my friendship. Even though it would probably be limited to social media, or text messaging. I told them that if they ever needed someone to listen, someone to pray for them, someone to talk to, that I would be willing to be that guy.
I ended my speech with another, heart-felt “Thank You!” After the group began to file out of the room, one guy, kind of hung back a little. I could tell that my “speech” was having some sort of emotional effect on him. When the room emptied, this hulk of a dispatcher walked up to me, with tears now beginning to roll down his face, he asked if he could give me a hug. Of course, I obliged, and bear hugged him right back. With a soft voice he began to thank me. He simply stated that the job had begun to get to him, and that he didn’t know if he could keep going on. But that my speech had reminded him that it wasn’t a job that he performed. It was his calling! He told me that he was fired up and ready to get back out onto the floor and be the professional, the call-taker, the first responder that he was called to be. By this time, tears were in my eyes. I thanked him for sharing part of his story with me. And I thanked God for the little part that I had played in this First Responder Hero’s life calling!
Through social media, I found out a few months after that day, that my dispatcher friend had gotten off work, went home, went to sleep, and never woke up again. I felt the tears coming again! That scene at the door of the training room played back over in my mind. I felt an unexplainable sense of loss. That may sound strange. I had only spent a few hours in a training class with him. I never knew his life story. I never knew his family. I never knew his favorite food or color. But in his death, I knew that the world had lost a hero. To some, he was just a voice on the other end of a phone line. To some, he was just somebody that answered phones for a living. For some, he was just an operator that would give out a phone number. But I can’t help but believe that there were countless people whose lives had been saved, broken hearts comforted, and fears calmed, by this straw haired colored man. I believe that there were firefighters and police officers, that were made heroes of situations because this dispatcher sent them on their way. I believe that the world was a better place, and a safer place because of a that faceless voice on the other end of a mic, or telephone. And I believe that a dispatch team, lost a brother, that could never quite be replaced. And to me, I am reminded that my job is more than a job. It is a calling. A calling to walk among heroes! A calling to play my part in the training of giants! I want to be the best trainer that I can be, so that heroes and giants can be the best dispatcher that they can be!Post Views: 1,200