I set off to the city of Allegan where my good friend Dave Rich was celebrating his birthday. As you can see from his picture he’s all about business in the front and party in the back. Sadly, my homeboy does not sport this do but if you look at him in the right light you can still see a shadow of where it once was. His head is now shaved yet still badass. I made sure to buy a small can of “Resurrection” which is an anti-hangover drink in case a had a little much. Luckily for me I was smart and stopped a long time before I went to sleep and what not so I woke up fine but the party was off the hook. When I arrived I was greeted by two ladies.
“Hi there…uhh..whoever you are…”
“Uh, hellooo to you too.”
I had a good chuckle because these two didn’t know me but when I made my way down to the basement I might as well have been Norm walking into Cheers.
The room exploded and I was greeted with open arms. I think my buddy Ryan even kissed me on the side of head. While people were yelling my name and saying hello, guess who also turned to say my name? Yep, the two ladies who greeted me first. They realized who I was afterward but the beginning was just funny. We celebrated Dave’s birthday with laughs, drinks, food, and a UFC PPV. The night was excellent and I even got to see a few sparing matches in the Dungeon of Rich. I also saw my friend Corina from high school who I hadn’t seen in years and we all saluted the birthday boy with a shot of Fireball. If I had to change anything, I would have left the chili alone. It was very good but it triggered my acid reflux something awful and no amount of Omeprazole could fix it. All in all I had a great time and I got to spend it with an excellent group of people. Happy Birthday once again Dave. May the world treat you with the greatest of respect and may you one day decide to bring back the mullet. Cheers!
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By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Hello everyone and welcome back! Whitney and I return with episode 39 of Within the Trenches. In this episode we visit with Daniel, the “Small Town Dispatcher” and host of Nighttime Dispatch Radio. He shares some of his calls, how he got his start and what influenced him to start his Small Town Dispatcher blog. We also share a few stories of our own on what it’s like to have to find time to use the bathroom when in the hot seat. Finally we share our thoughts on an issue that hits home to all 9-1-1 professionals out there. The first 911 call received was on February 16, 1968 at City Hall in Haleyville, AL. Well this building is in danger of being demolished and possibly turned into a chain pharmacy. Check out the links below and sign the petition to help save this piece of 9-1-1 history. As always you can email the show at email@example.com.
Small Town Dispatcher (Blog) – Web
Episode topics –
Post Views: 358
- How Daniel started dispatching
- Daniel’s first call
- Using the bathroom in the comm center
- Save the home of 9-1-1
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Lately I have been talking about the good and the bad of 911 dispatch. Today I would like to talk about the funny stuff that happens. This is the stuff that no one hears about unless you’re a co-worker or a friend who has heard or read our stories. I know I have written about a few already but here are some more to tickle your funny bone. When you think of 911 dispatch you think about emergency calls, police, ems, and the fire department. The majority of the calls we get on 911 are non-emergency. Most of the people who call on 911 with a non-emergency call will ask for the non-emergency number but we take their call on 911 either way. They are going to get us anyway so we take it. Those are the nice people. We also get calls from people who start yelling and swearing at us because they’re upset with their neighbors dog running in their yard and tell us to just get someone out there before they shoot it. These people are not nice and are ones that we talk to almost every other day.
The frequent callers are also the ones that make my job interesting and funny. I remember dealing with a couple who were always calling about their arguments. Every time the officers went out there they would end up clearing the address without anything being resolved. Now, it wasn’t because the officers didn’t do their jobs, it was because the couple kept saying that they were fine and didn’t need our help. Well, one day I took a call from them and I was speaking to the soon to be ex-husband who I will call Jake. The poor guy was upset because his wife, who I will call Emily, was fed up and ready to move out. Before I move on I want to make sure you understand that I’m not trying to be a jerk here. No domestic situation is ever funny but sometimes the information is misunderstood and you just have to go with the flow and laugh it off. I could hear Emily yelling in the background saying that all Jake cared about was their little girl. I figured she was talking about their daughter but I was wrong.
“Sir, are you ok?”
“Where is Emily at?”
“She’s at the house and I’m at the end of the driveway with our little girl waiting for the officer.”
“Ok, so whose all involved? It’s you, Emily, and…”
“Our little girl. She’s so upset.”
“Yeah? How old is she?”
“She’s almost 5 years old sir.”
“Yeah! You just wait until the officers get here! I’m outta here”, Emily yelled in the distance.
I started to hear a yelp or crying of some sort.
“Sir is that your daughter crying?”
“Yeah…you said you were with your little girl.”
“Oh…no she’s not my daughter. She’s my dog.”
EGG ON MY FACE! The whole time I thought this was the guys daughter and it was actually his dog. I could hear it yelping more and more and Jake began to sniffle as well. What else could I do or say?
“Sir are you ok?”
“Yes, but my little girl is upset and I’m getting upset as well.”
I took a deep breath and went for it.
“Well sir, the officers will be there soon. Just hold her and comfort her. Let her know it will be okay.”
“It’s ok honey. Everything will be alright.”
I couldn’t believe it worked. At first I wanted to hold up the phone so that I could chuckle. I mean, why would I tell the guy to comfort his dog? It seemed hilarious but it actually worked and Jake, as well as his dog, were able to calm down. Calls like this one can go either way. You can say something that will ultimately help or you can say something that will make you feel like a jerk. For example, I have taken calls where I…well, let me put it in dialog form. It will work better that way.
“Can you hear me? Hello, are you there?”
“Yes, I can hear you now. I think someone is trying to break into my house and my dad is at work.”
“Ok, where is your mom at?”
“Um…she died a few years ago.”
D’oh! This is the kind of conversation that sucks because you’re thrown off your game and you think for a moment that you just jacked up your call.
“I’m really sorry.”
“Oh it’s fine. You didn’t know she was dead. I do miss her though.”
So now the caller is thinking about her deceased mother instead of the person who is breaking into the house. Another example comes from a call that I posted where I thought I was speaking to a Carl and it turned out to be a Carol. Calls like this are very funny but it’s only afterward that you’re able to laugh. At the moment of FAIL there is no time to laugh. One can only apologize for the mistake and hope for the best. There are also calls where we speak to the disturbed. These are the calls that take good speaking skills and customer service. When you take a call from someone who hates you for no reason you have to take it like a professional. Let’s look at some dialog.
“911 where’s your emergency?”
“Hello? What’s your address?”
“You don’t need my address! You just need to listen!”
“Ok sir, take a deep breath.”
“I will take nothing! You need to copy down this number and call it! It’s a matter of national security man!”
I didn’t know what to think at first. The guy was calling from a pre-paid phone and had no GPS coordinates so there was no way for me to locate him.
“Yes sir, go ahead.”
He gave me the number and I could hear him huffing and puffing.
“Now! You need to call this number and tell them they are trying to hurt the President!”
“Sir, what number is this?”
“It’s to the Whitehouse man! You need to call them!” *click*
The guy hung up on me and I chuckled a little. He called a few more times and yelled at me like you wouldn’t believe. What else could I do but laugh after each call. Think of Sam Kinison yelling at you over and over for no reason and saying things that would make the devil blush. That was my night and when I finally got the chance I called the number.
“Whitehouse switchboard how may I direct your call?”
I was speechless…
“Hi…umm…I wasn’t expecting anyone to answer the line.”
“Well my name is Ricardo with 911 dispatch and there was a guy calling about…”
Before I could go any further the operator said the guys name.
“Yeah that’s him.”
“Oh yeah, we’ve taken several calls from that guy. He’s harmless.”
We shared a chuckle and hung up. I couldn’t believe that the guy actually called the Whitehouse with the stuff he was telling me. I got a few more calls from him over time but in the end he was able to get the help he needed. It’s the calls like the ones I have mentioned that make my job so interesting. I have dealt with every type of call you can think of. It takes thick skin, good customer service, and common sense to do what I do but the most important thing you need is a good sense of humor.Post Views: 713
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
It’s been about a week or so since I have written anything on Jabber Log but I have been occupied with family life, school, and work. During that time I have been able to brainstorm on some new things I want to do with this blog and hopefully I can accomplish all of my goals. The first idea comes from a conversation that I had with my wife Rebecca the other day. I was talking to her about a new artist named Maddie Larkin and how hard it is for unsigned artists to receive radio play. Now I’m not sure if many radio stations have a segment where they feature new or unsigned artists and if they don’t they should. I enjoy hearing my favorites on the radio as much as everyone else but let’s hear the artists who are virtually unknown. Let’s give them a chance to be heard and become one of our favorites. I don’t want to have to wait to hear someone unknown on a reality show. I want to hear someone on a local radio station that is unsigned, hungry, and ready to break through. With all that said, I have decided to add a new segment to Jabber Log entitled “New Artist Tuesday”. The first Tuesday of each month I will highlight a new artist who is looking for some exposure. Their are many new artists out there who are trying to get noticed and break into the music business. All it takes is a little push from the people to get them out there on the radio and finally to the record executives who can make their dreams come true. That’s what I want to do with this segment. I want to help the unknown get their music out there. I realize I’m a small voice on a blog but when people come together they can make things happen.
For the first edition of New Artist Tuesday I would like to highlight Maddie Larkin. She’s an artist that I have mentioned before on Jabber Log but I thought she would be perfect for the first post of this segment. Maddie is an aspiring Country singer/song writer. She has been very busy lately with several different shows and will be heading back to Nashville where she cut her album. There she will be enjoying some co-writing sessions, meetings, and possibly the CMA’s. Although this talented singer has released a record and performed in numerous venues she has not been signed. There is no radio or television exposure and really it’s up to the artist to do what he or she can to spread the music out to the masses. Luckily in this day and age there is a way to reach the public without a major record label but having them back your music is where its at. As of right now for the many talented artists such as Maddie, social media is a way to get their music out there. It’s an excellent way to gain fans and share their story. For me, the story within the lyrics is what draws me into music the most. I like the sound of music in general but the story behind it is what drives it home. I believe this is what fans are into and if I am correct then why not give new artists a chance to tell their story?
A good story behind the music follows Maddie Larkin before her realization and calling to music. She was previously a competitive gymnast and suffered a devastating back injury. It was during her time of recovery where she wrote lyrics that dealt with her pain. Her music comes in the form of ballads and anthems. Whether Maddie’s music is told through heartache or recovery it flourishes lyrically on her debut album, “Letters From My Cold Heart”. It’s stories such as those told by Maddie that need to be heard. As of right now you can hear the musical talents of Maddie Larkin on iTunes, Jango.com, CDBaby.com, and you can follow her on Twitter or visit her Fan page on Facebook where she recently added a Bandpage that features a look at “Give It Up”. These are the ways you can hear Maddie Larkin and when you visit her Facebook Fan page make sure to click “Like”.
In the end it’s the people that make a difference. This holds true for anything really, and what we need to do is stand up and ask for new artists to be played on the radio more than the usual mainstream favorites. As I’ve said before, I’m all about the favorites but lets hear from those who are unsigned, unknown, and even if they have had a little air time, let’s hear more. Let’s “Occupy the Airwaves” so to speak and demand new music. I think people would listen to the radio more and even purchase more music if new artists were given some sort of exposure without corporate backing. If you are a new artist who is looking for some exposure submit your information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a feature on “New Artist Tuesday”. I want to read about your story behind the music and help spread your talent to the public. I have been told that it’s almost impossible to get music on the airwaves without corporate backing but we can change that. Let’s try and get passed this hurdle. It’s time to get new up and coming artists on the radio, it’s time to Occupy the Airwaves.Post Views: 228