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By Ricardo — 1 year agoThe following is in direct response to the Facebook comments of the policeone.com article “Should dispatchers be officially classified as first responders?” written by Melissa Mann. The article itself is great but there are some people who think we should not be reclassified or that we are not “in the shit” like the public safety personnel who are on scene.“I am NOT a first responder”Written by: Daphanie Bailes – Within the Trenches Admin, In Between the Chaos columnist for IAED & Senior Telecommunicator and Communications Training Coordinator for Martin County Fire RescueI’m not a first responder, that’s what lots of people say. How can you be a first responder, you just sit in a room. I would like to invite those who feel that way, to step into my world. The world of the faceless, the nameless. The world where I am only known by the sound of my voice. A voice that can portray everything from love to loathing. A voice that can give me away if I dwell on the fight at home, the fourth nastygram email of the day, the last bad 911 call or anything else that can affect my emotions. A world where I juggle the feelings associated with multiple calls, all at once. A world where I very rarely hear “Thank you” or “I want to do that when I grow up”. My world encompasses so much more than those four walls or my own voice. It is the voice of every caller or administrator on the phone, every firefighter and paramedic or EMT on the radio. It also includes the voices that don’t go away when I hang up the phone or walk out the door or try to close my eyes.I know I wasn’t the first person to put my boots on the ground but my voice was the first you heard. I broke thru language barriers to keep you safe. I instructed your loved one to give you lifesaving breaths until help could arrive. I told you to hide and kept you calm while evil walked past your closet door. I heard your wife’s screams when she realized you were beyond help. I talked to you and distracted you long enough for help to get there and take the gun from your hand. I used every resource available so we could find you when you rolled your car off the highway. I was with you when you took your last breaths. I felt your frustration and fear when the water was just too rough for you to help her. I reassured you when you begged for the minutes to disappear and for the ambulance to arrive. I shouldered your obscenities and continued to be your calm when you found your overdosed son. I prayed that you were at peace after you finally stopped the voices in your head. I told you to sing to your sweetheart, to calm him, to drown out the rest of the noise while we waited for EMS and Fire to find your mangled truck. I was the first to hear your tiny but strong cries after you made your grand entrance into this world and silently cried tears of joy with your family.I prayed when I heard your ‘Mayday’ call. I prayed because you are my brother or sister and when you hurt, I hurt. I train and learn every day, beyond what is required, because I am the one and only person who is not allowed to be caught off guard and not know what to do. So many lives desperately depend on me to know what to do or who to call and to make it happen in the blink of an eye.In a way, those people are correct. I’m not a first responder by the purest definition. I am a highly trained Public Safety Telecommunicator. I am THE FIRST RESPONDER. I am the first to respond to that emergency with life-saving instructions. I am the first to alert law enforcement, fire and medical personnel to the cries for help. I am the first to hear and feel heartache and joy from people I will never know. I am the first to comfort those souls in need. And I will be the first to invite you into these four walls and experience my world. Not because I want a pat on the back or have grandiose feelings of superiority, but because I want you to understand it.Post Views: 97
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
A while back I had come up with an idea where people could be involved in a zombie apocalypse. Their involvement would be shown by the messages they left behind for the living. It started out well and was hot for a bit but the big picture was lost when I became too busy for my own creation. It sucked because there were some good entries but I couldn’t keep up with it. It was on an entirely separate blog and after a while I just lost sight of it. So now I’m bringing it back. I’m thinking of taking what was done on the other blog entitled, “Notes for the Living” and incorporate it here on Jabber Log through mini episodes. I have so much traffic going through Jabber Log that I should have done it this way in the first place. The zombie story is a good one and people I know kept asking when the next note would be put up on the zombie blog in the beginning so hopefully it will continue its popularity here. What I thought made this so good was that the readers would themselves contribute to the story line by submitting their own notes. They would leave a note describing their situation and use their first name, city and state. By doing this others would not only make the story interesting with their own situation but it would show how far the infection had spread. It was interesting to read what others left for their loved ones and strangers to read. To start this out I am going to do the most obvious thing; start at the beginning. The story is seriously based on true events. Only the beginning of it is, of course, and the rest is made up. I had held onto the basis of this story for a long time. I was waiting for the right opportunity and I finally got it in the form of a contamination story around my hometown. Everything fit and what came out was the beginning of a good zombie story. So without further ado, and please comment, I present to you; Note for the Living – The Beginning.
March 24th, 2012.
The world has gone to hell and fast. The unthinkable has happened and I’m left to find my family. Who would’ve thought this day would come? The infected roam the streets and what little survivors that are left have bunkered down or have fled to the nearest military check point. I have been here for days. I’m waiting for you to return Rebecca. I had a bad feeling the night I lost you and the kids. I took the overtime in dispatch because we needed the money for our annual trip to Florida. Had I known it would turn out like this, I would have never called back.
That night I had been reading about the problems in Fennville. A local factory had been spraying their waste in different fields for years. The chemicals that were sprayed made their way into the water of the city and people were getting sick. I thought it was crazy how something like this could happen. I took a call from a nurse at Allegan ER who told me that two guys came in with a weird illness. They were rambling that they had just escaped from a migrant camp to seek medical attention. I was told that they were being held captive with others that were sick and separated from those who were healthy. A few of them worked in a blueberry field near by as well as the factory in Fennville. They believed that the chemicals that were being sprayed in the field caused their illness.
We sent officers and the fire department out to the camp to search for people that were being held captive. Once they got there everything went to hell. All we could hear were gunshots and screaming. Everyone made it out but they left a bloodbath of several bodies in a home that appeared to be dead when they got there. As the officers made their way to the sheriff’s department, I received a phone call from the emergency room. The screams for help attacked my ears and I could hear something horrifying. It almost sounded like chewing. I could hear cries of agony. We sent officers to the hospital and our 911 lines blew up. Those who were infected had overrun the area where the migrant camp was located. It spread so fast that we couldn’t keep up. There was so much radio traffic that the system overloaded and broke down. My team and I decided to leave for our respective families.
I hurried home for you Rebecca. I hurried home for you and the kids. When I got here you were gone. I’ve waited long enough. I don’t think you’ll be back. I leave this note for the living. You must know how this started. I’m heading back to dispatch to find you Rebecca. If you see this, find me there. I love you.
(video below is a voice-over version of the note above. disregard the website at the end, it will all be here now)Post Views: 57
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Woooooooo! Two weeks and counting my fellow Jabber Loggers! Yesterday made the birth of my daughter more of a reality. My wife and I had to meet with one of the advisors of the hospital in order to pre-register so that we did not have to do it when my wife goes into labor. The hospital is very nice and it’s pretty peaceful as well. I’m sure it won’t be all that peaceful when my wife is crushing my hand while dealing with a killer contraction but oh well. I helped make the child so I might as well take some pain as well right? We sat in the office with the advisor and we enjoyed some small talk but we quickly moved on to the good stuff. Let’s register and get to know everyone by asking somewhat awkward questions.
“So Ricardo, I see you’re a 911 dispatcher.”
“Yep, that’s correct.”
“Oh, that sounds like a very interesting job.”
“Why yes it is.”
The advisor stared at me for a moment, smiled and nodded her head. I was baffled. I smiled back and nodded my head as well.
“I bet you’ve heard it all huh? The job sounds unpredictable.”
“That it is, that it is.”
There were long pauses and I usually don’t talk about all of my calls because I have taken some horrifying ones. If you don’t believe me, click on the right side for “Within the Trenches” and you can read a few bad ones. So after a few awkward pauses we moved on. I wasn’t trying to be a jerk to her. I was just saving her mind from thinking too much about any bad call I brought up. We moved on to allergies in the family and past medical history. It was the normal routine crap but what threw me for a loop was when she asked about our race/ethnicity.
“So I see that you’re both white but do either of you have anything else mixed in there?”
I chuckled for a moment. I glanced over at my wife and then smiled. I slowly turned toward the advisor and my smile grew. Imagine the scene in the animated version of, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” when his smile starts out small and then grows beyond belief.
“Um…well I’m actually 100% Mexican.”
“Oh!” She turned red for a moment. “Well, I thought you might be mixed because your name is Ricardo but…”
My wife and I laughed. I took no offense at all by her comment. It takes a lot to upset me and I have an open mind and an excellent sense of humor.
I laughed and said, “It’s cool. I am slightly lighter than most Mexicans and I have no accent.” I made sure to say all of this in my best announcer voice and we all shared a nice laugh about it. Then the advisor asked another question and I almost lost it!
“So Rebecca, I know Ricardo is full Mexican but do you have any Mexican in you?”
I let out a chuckle and I bit my tongue. Seeing how she was pregnant I could have busted out several cracks but I held back. I glanced at my wife and she gave me the, “Don’t you dare joke right now” look. I’m sure she would have laughed but I let it go. The registration ended with a tour of the birthing center and I was impressed. The best part, for my wife that is, was that she may have a room with a jacuzzi. Now from what I saw, it looked pretty sweet. Are there any mom’s out there that had a chance to use one? If so, let me know what you thought about it. There is just a short time left and Lola Mae is on her way and I’m stoked! Can’t wait to meet you baby girl!Post Views: 66