As 911 dispatchers we deal with all kinds of situations. We speak to many different people and the calls are never the same. The majority of the calls we take on 911 are actually non-emergency. You wouldn’t think that when picking up a 911 call the conversation would be about loud noise from the neighbors or a horse in someones yard but it happens. When a 911 call comes in and it is a true emergency it can go to hell and fast. Being on our end of the phone we do anything and everything we can to keep our callers and emergency personnel safe. Whether we’re keeping a feuding couple separated or giving GPS coordinates to help find those in need of help, we do our best. I want to give props to those who worked in dispatch this past weekend and those who worked during the storms a couple weekends ago. I am proud to work with all of you. The video below is a taste of what we do. What have you done today?
PS. I show up in this video but I was not involved in the call featured in the video so the props go to my co-workers not me, although I believe I owe doughnuts for being on TV.
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By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Good afternoon and welcome back to another episode of Within the Trenches. This is going to be the second and final episode recorded during the 9114911 conference held at the Naperville, Illinois Marriott. In this episode I got the chance to speak to Kelly, CEO of Success Communications Inc. She shared her vision of this one of a kind motivational conference geared towards the most important part of the 9-1-1 world, the true first first responders, the dispatchers. It was an excellent time and the first conference where I truly felt inspired to do more in the 9-1-1 community.
This episode is a must listen so check it out and share it. As always if you have any questions or would like to be on the show you can send an email to email@example.com.
9114911 Conference – Web
Episode topics –
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- Kelly’s vision
- Preparation for next year
By Ricardo — 8 years ago
When you work somewhere for a long time it eventually feels like a second home. You build friendships, you laugh, you share stories and you bond. Hours and hours are spent with co-workers. So much time is spent with them that they become your second family. Everyone has his or her work family. This post is about mine. If you don’t already know from previous posts, I work as a 9-1-1 supervisor. What that means is that I not only do the duties of a 9-1-1 operator but I also oversee an entire team.
In the seven years that I have worked in dispatch I have bonded with my co-workers. We have become very close. This is also true for the rest of my work family. They include the county deputies, city officers, state troopers, EMS, and Fire. My work family is rather unique as you can tell. We have been through a lot together and some incidents can never be understood unless you speak to someone who is within our family. I know it seems odd to say that. You’re probably thinking, “Why wouldn’t anyone else understand?” Well, let’s look at a call I took in the past.
One of the worst calls I have ever taken dealt with an infant. Now, I have taken many calls involving infants but this one will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can’t go into a lot of detail but I had to give CPR instructions to a frantic mother whose infant was blue and not breathing. It was horrifying to hear her struggle through this. In the end the baby died. My Sgt. came up to ask if I was ok but all I wanted to know was what exactly happened. It may seem weird to know this but as dispatchers we don’t always know the end result or why. We go to the next call as soon as it comes in and the closure is lost. We ultimately need that closure. I have shared this story with those outside my profession and most people want to bypass it. It’s sometimes hard to talk to others but I suppose it’s like that in any profession. You simply want to speak to someone you work with and one who knows what you’re going through.
When you bond with your work family you are bound to feel for them the way you feel for your immediate family. If one of your own is hurt you will most likely feel their pain. When you lose someone from your work family it can be devastating. About a week ago or so one of our Sgt.’s passed away unexpectedly. It was a shock to our entire county. When something like this happens you quickly realize how strong of a bond you have with your work family. I can’t even begin to explain the emotions of everyone involved but we all came together to be there for his immediate family and to say farewell to our brother.
The funeral was something I have never experienced before. Sure, I have been to many funerals but this one involved law enforcement. I have never heard the sounds of bagpipes being played to honor the fallen and I have never heard an officers “last call”. Now, I don’t feel comfortable going into detail on what the “last call” entails but know that it brought my entire work family, including myself, to tears. It was hard to listen and what made me cry even more was hearing the emotions of everyone else. Just the sight of the officers that have always shown me zero emotion were shedding tears yet trying there hardest to fight them back. Afterward we walked over to where all the officers were standing and we hugged. There were no handshakes; there were only hugs and tears. It was in that moment that I realized how strong my bond was with my work family. See, it doesn’t matter where you work it’s the bonds you build while working there. My work family deals with the lives of others and we do everything we can to help keep the public safe. It may not always be appreciated but we do our jobs and we do it well. Our work families may be different but the point is the same. It’s all about the bonds we build. Thank you to everyone I work with for being the best damn work family anyone could have. Thank you to Sgt. Scott Tatrow for your years of service and the laughter and joy you brought to our work family as well as the public. May god bless your family and may you rest in peace.Post Views: 604
By Ricardo — 9 years ago
I have been reflecting on all of the calls I have taken and although I would like to keep hitting you with the crazy calls, I thought I would give you a taste of something funny. During the first year of my current career I had already taken several calls that I never thought I would take. They were bad, they were good and they were very funny. I mean, I took a call once where a man was upset because his girlfriend was tossing his Spam out of the window of his camper. Anyhow, one that sticks out in my mind is a domestic call I took. Now I know that no domestic call is ever funny but this one was odd and funny.
It was a hot summer night and there was a full moon. For whatever reason the crazy shit hits the fan but we hang in there and do what we do. I was sitting at phones and the phone rang. I had already taken call after call and when I picked this one up I immediately heard screaming. I tried to get the caller to answer me but there was just yelling in the background. After bringing my voice down to a whisper someone finally spoke. I was relieved that I was able to make this technique work but the voice was not what I expected.
When the voice asked if I was there I pictured a Speak & Spell holding a phone up to where its ears would be. All I am saying is that the person had a robotic voice and I believe this caller was a person who had a Laryngectomy and was using a hand-held talking device. It was hard to understand this person and it turned out that the daughter of my caller was simply upset because she was not getting her way. Nothing bad had actually happened and they were just arguing. What made me look like an ass was that throughout the conversation I called this robotic wonder “Sir”. Why I went with sir, I don’t know but I assumed this was a man. Well I was wrong! This person was finally fed up with the sir business and said, “Sir…I am not a sir…I am a ma’am. This thing makes me sound like a man. HA-HA-HA”. Yeah…picture that with a robotic voice and try not to laugh. I wanted to at least chuckle but I bit my lip and stayed professional. After my shift I had a good laugh and to this day I remember it and it makes me smile.Post Views: 564