Hello folks and welcome to another installment of the Emergency Services Series I have been working on in class for my Masters program. The first part involved the K-9 Unit of the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department, the second involved Joel Thompson of Plainwell EMS, and this part features Allegan County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Brown. I hope you enjoy another story from the field of emergency services.
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By Ricardo — 2 years ago
Welcome to episode 99 of Within the Trenches. I have come a long way and it is hard to believe that my next episode is going to be number 100. I am planning something great for this landmark episode so stay tuned! In this episode I did a recap of episode 98 that included some of my admins. I also gave an overview of a couple of videos we watched and I made sure to give a shout out to Heather of Absolute Photography out of Holland, MI. She made a vinyl decal out of my Sons of Dispatch – NINE ONE ONE Original logo and it looks amazing!
I asked the fans if they would be interested in one and there was a large response so I will be making them available in the next few days for purchase. The decals will be for both the Sons and Daughters logo and will cost $9.99 a piece. Now I know it may seem like a lot but a portion of the proceeds will go to a scholarship that I am working on to send one dispatcher to the 2016 National NENA conference in Indy.
Today’s guest features Sue Pivetta of Professional Pride and 911trainer.com. She is a former dispatcher, supervisor, console trainer and vocational teacher. This episode was a lot of fun and after about 3 years of trying to schedule an episode we finally got a chance to chat. If you are passionate about training or are thinking about making a move into a training position then this is the episode for you.
As always if you have any questions or would like to be a guest on the show, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also don’t forget to use the hashtag #ShitDispatchersSay & ShitDispatchersThink on Facebook and Twitter. You can mention us on Twitter with your Say or Think hashtag and we will retweet it or you can send one to our inbox on Facebook and we will post it anonymously. Check out Sue’s links below and tell her we sent you. Cheers!
Episode topics –
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- Episode 98 recap
- How Sue got into dispatch
- First night in dispatch calls
- Murder & Rape
- Shotgun to jaw call
- Training dispatch today
- And more
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
I have always said that, “in the moment of crisis, we are the voice of authority.” It’s something that I firmly believe. We as dispatchers are your link to the help you need. We do our best with every call because that’s what we do. We get the job done and send help where help is needed. When our caller is overwhelmed with panic and fear we are there to calm them down. It’s not an easy job and it amazes me how some people can think that we are merely drones with no emotion. I can tell you from personal experience that this is far from true. The job itself is easy to learn but it’s the emotional stress that can take a toll on you.
Let’s start with a scenario. You wake up on a beautiful spring morning. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you have the whole day ahead of you. You look over at your spouse and your heart drops. What you see before you has taken your breath way and your heart is racing. You panic and begin to shake your spouse…he doesn’t move. You want to cry but you can’t. You begin to sweat and in your moment of shock and panic you run next door to ask your neighbor for help. This can’t be happening. Not today, not for a long time you think, but it is happening. You lay next to your lifeless spouse as your neighbor calls 911. It’s horrifying, is it not? This is a call I took a few years ago. I spoke to the neighbor and all I could hear in the background was a female yelling for her husband. I remained calm and did my job but inside I was dying.
“Don’t leave me! Please, not now…we had so much time left together!”
I’ve heard shouting like this many times. I have felt my callers pain and I think what makes it hard is that there is no closure. When we take 911 calls we try to deal with them one at a time but sometimes it gets so busy that we have to go back and forth between them. Once the call is over and help has arrived we go right to the next one. Sometimes the only way we find out the outcome is when someone calls for the medical examiner. I mean, if we ever get the chance we’ll find out some information but otherwise we’re in the dark and it makes it hard. I’ve listened to more death than you can imagine. I have heard those taking their last breaths, and I have heard families grieving for their loved ones. One can develop thick skin but it doesn’t always work. After listening to the screams of those in need and those in mourning it definitely starts to penetrate the defenses of ones emotions.
I remember when I worked in Florida many years ago. It was my first night alone and I was chatting with the Chief before he headed home. As he left the door swung open. A lady ran in crying and screaming. I could barely make out what she was saying. The Chief and an officer left to a near by residence and the lady remained in the lobby sobbing. She had just come from her residence where she found her husband. She had recently left him but decided to go patch things up. She wanted to be with him again but instead she found his suicide note. This is how my dispatching career began. I remember how surreal the moment was. I remember how I felt for this woman who had just found her husband dead. I wanted to go over and hug her as she cried for him but I couldn’t. I had a job to do and I remained in my seat. For the rest of my time in Florida, I believe that was the worst call I ever experienced. It wasn’t until my current job that I dealt with it more frequently.
There is nothing worse than listening to someone die. Those last gasping breaths can haunt you. The calls that get me the most have to do with giving CPR instructions. I was once told that if you’re giving CPR instructions the person has a 5% chance of coming back. Every call I have taken, I hope and pray that the person falls within that 5%. It doesn’t always happen that way though. There is no consistent happy ending but the majority of the time there are other factors to ones death that CPR cannot fix. It’s a hard job but this is what my co-workers and I do. I could go on and on with the scary parts of my job but I will stop for now. There is a lot more that I have dealt with but this is just another glimpse into dispatch. The emotions flow within us like any other person but we hold back in order to do the best job imaginable. Would you ask for anything less?Post Views: 134
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
You’ve heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is”? Well the picture within this post is my old house in Fennville. Home is where the heart is relates more to home is where the ghosts are. And I say this because I truly believe that there was something going on at my home whether it’s ghosts, ghouls, or gnomes. From what I was told my house was once a funeral home. Between my parents and I we would take turns using the basement as a bedroom. What I didn’t know when I first started staying down there was that a section of the basement was where the funeral home cremated the deceased. Whenever I went down there it felt like someone else was present. While walking down to the main part of the basement there was a crawl space and it always seemed as though someone was watching from within. There was a curtain that covered the opening of the crawl space and whenever I walked by it I was sure something would jump out.
I’m sure everyone in the area had an old Michigan basement and it seemed creepy but mine was really bad. Even after my parents finished the basement and made it look nice, it still had a scary feel to it. One night I remember hearing little kids calling for help through the vents. I heard it several times and I remember running to my moms room so that I could sleep on the floor. It scared the crap out of me. I told my mom about it and she told me that back when they first bought the house they used to hear people screaming from the basement. There were bones that had been found down there after knocking down a wall and a priest was brought in to bless the home. The bones were buried and they never heard anything again but now my siblings and I were hearing things around the house. Along with the kids screaming through the vents, there was a time when a friend of mine and I heard someone or something running upstairs and down into the basement. We had been up late so that we could sleep the entire way to Six Flags and we heard something upstairs. I thought it was my dad up in the living room but he had already gone to bed. The footsteps turned into fast pounding on the floor above us and it sounded like it ran across and into the kitchen. We ran upstairs and stood by the doorway to the kitchen and we heard it coming towards us and we ran. I remember my friend jumping into one bed and I jumped into the other. I threw the blanket over my head and I could hear someone walking around. It felt as though someone was there staring at us and then it was gone.
There were a lot of scary and creepy things that happened at my house in Fennville. There were things that I can’t explain and maybe I don’t want to know but it’s definitely interesting and something I will never forget. Maybe the scariest thing that happened there was when my mom and siblings returned to the house after we had moved out. She had come back to clean out the basement since it had been sold and she says that it still felt like someone was down in the basement. While she was cleaning she heard something. She stood there for a moment and then heard it again. It was a little louder and it whispered, “I knew you would come back.” That was the last time any of us stepped foot in that house.Post Views: 187