The field of emergency services has a big responsibility. They put themselves on the line every day in order to keep the public safe. When you call 9-1-1 for police, fire, or ems, you get to see them face-to-face. The ones you don’t see are the dispatchers on the other end. They are first in line when an emergency occurs and their role is vital to the safety of the public. Jabber Log recently sat down with Whitney Wilson, a 9-1-1 operator with Allegan County Central Dispatch, to see what she does and why she does it.
This article continues the Emergency Services Series that began a month ago to show another side that people don’t get to see. Everyone has a story to tell and according to 911dispatch.com, “There is no accurate source of figures on the number of full-time public safety dispatchers. One industry association claims there are 250,000 “public safety 911 professionals.” Out of those 250,000 this is just one story.
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By Ricardo — 3 years ago
I am a firm believer that every person we meet, we meet for a reason. Whether it is good or bad, a blessing or a lesson, there is a reason. A few years ago I reached out to someone who would help shape the rest of my career. Although the good deed was small it changed everything and made a big impact on my life.
When I was in the last part of my dispatch career I was working on my Masters in New Media Journalism. At this time I was writing heavily and posting all kinds of personal dispatch stories to my blog. It had become pretty popular with those in the 9-1-1 community as well as the general public. People were learning and I was loving it but I felt like something was missing, I felt like I could do more. As I was riding on the popularity of my written version of Within the Trenches I was introduced to podcasting through an assignment in school. I fell in love with it and started a public safety series doing stories with dispatch, police and EMS.
From there I decided to turn my written segment into a podcast but it was going to take a little help from Kickstarter. My goal for this Kickstarter campaign was $1,500. It would pay for equipment, hosting and more. I was going strong with $606 early on but my campaign stalled and I was sure I would not make it. I had 36 hours left and I was freaking out. I was reading some 9-1-1 industry news at 9-1-1 Dispatch Magazine Online and decided I would reach out to the editor for help. I told Gary Allen that I wasn’t looking for money from him. All I wanted was help getting the word out on my project. Later on that day I received a response from him saying that he loved the idea of a dispatch podcast and telling dispatch stories. He wrote up a small blurb on what I was doing and also reached out to some industry partners. In 24 hours I surpassed my campaign goal.
I can safely say that if it wasn’t for Gary’s help I probably would not have made it. On top of that I recently found out that one of the industry partners he reached out to was my now boss and founder of INdigital, a public safety solutions company. I thought my boss simply found me by the article that Gary put out but Gary reached out to him. It’s awesome how things work out sometimes. Sadly, Gary recently passed away. He had 40 years of public safety background and my only regret is not having more of an opportunity to have him on the podcast to tell his complete story. I did get a chance to have him on an episode with me and it is included within this episode. We were experimenting with Google+ Hangouts Live so the audio sounds a little different but it is a good one nonetheless. Also towards the end there is about a minutes worth of music. The show doesn’t end though, I was showing Gary a video and all you can hear is the music. So just in case you listen and wonder what is going on. Below you will find a link to the video version of episode 45 with Gary Allen. I hope you enjoy the episode and please share it.
As always if you have any questions or you would like to be a guest on the show you can email me at email@example.com
I will be forever grateful to you. Your help made a huge impact on my life. I hope I am able to leave a mark on this industry the way you did. Godspeed my friend.
RicardoPost Views: 220
By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Within the Trenches is back with episode 31! This episode was recorded at the National NENA Conference and Expo at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this episode I had the pleasure of speaking with Elise, the Executive Director of 9-1-1 for Kids. The history of the organization is revealed as well as the main purpose, which is to help reduce 9-1-1 misuse. This was an excellent episode and as you will hear in the beginning and the end of the show the music is different. This was done in honor of 9-1-1 for Kids and more information on the song can be found on their website by following the links below. This episode is packed with information and as always you can email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episode topics –
Post Views: 139
- The main goal of 9-1-1 for Kids
- The importance of public education
- Awards given for 9-1-1 heroes
- 9-1-1 stories involving child heroes
By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Last week Wednesday was the start of the most pain I have felt in a very long time. The day actually began rather well. I went into dispatch to do some offline work and then I attended a business meeting that turned out to be pretty big for my new company, Martinez Design Concepts LLC. I was pretty stoked at the turn out and the connections I made.
On my way home one of my teeth on the bottom right side started to hurt. It wasn’t too bad and of course, everyone has gone through a minor toothache so I didn’t think much of it. On Thursday my tooth continued to hurt but I went into work and continued taking Tylenol like Skittles. The pain kept coming and going and I was brushing like mad and rinsing as much as I could.
When Friday morning came around, I decided to call my dentist to see me for a possible abscessed tooth. I went in and sure enough it was an abscess and I needed an emergency root canal. I was relieved that we would be able to take care of it on that day but no one was available to do it. An appointment was made for the following Thursday and I was sent on my way with prescriptions for Penicillin and some Tylenol 3’s. The pain persisted throughout the day and got worse. I went to work and while I was there I noticed that the bottom right side of my face began to swell. Around midnight or so I could no longer take the pain and rushed to the nearest E.R.
Once I got there I noticed the funny looks from those who saw or spoke to me. I realized that my swelling was more obvious than before. When the doctor came in to see me she began pressing against my face. It hurt like you wouldn’t believe. I laid back and she looked in and began pressing and pushing against my gums and that hurt even more. She was looking for a pocket of some sort to drain from but couldn’t find a good enough spot.
Once again I was sent home with an anti-biotic and some painkillers but one of them I was able to get before I left the E.R. Now, when the doc told me that she could give me a shot of something, I thought she just meant a dose, in pill form. Nope! This was literally a shot and one that was to go in my rear! The nurse walks in and says,
“Ok, I have your prescriptions ready and now for the painkiller.”
I was surprised to see the shot in her hand so I began to roll up my sleeve.
“No, no. Um…this goes in your rear. Here’s a blanket so you can pull everything down.”
I was immediately embarrassed that I had to drop everything and she leaves so that I can do so. I unzip, drop and sit on the bed. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that she needed everything down. She opens the door and looks at me and says,
“Um…you still have your underwear on right?”
“No, you said everything down.”
“Oh…well that’s not what I meant. Pull everything back up.”
I laughed inside and thought, “I knew she only needed one cheek!”
She comes in, tells me to lie on the bed, I supply one cheek and she hits me with the shot. It hurt like hell but it took the pain away. Sheesh…how embarrassing it was. I’m sure when she first opened the door I looked like I was ready to take a dump on the bed seeing how everything was down. Argh!
From there I went back to work but went home early. The next morning my face had swelled up to the picture included in this post. The pain was unbearable but luckily a friend of mine suggested a dentist office that works over the weekend. Between Saturday and today, I have been to that dentist trying to get the swelling down. Today I felt pain I have never experienced before. It wasn’t childbirth but it might as well have been. Since the swelling was taking longer to go down, they decided to cut me open in order to drain what was inside. They numbed me up with three shots to the gums. It worked rather well but I could partially feel what they were doing. They used three different scalpels during this procedure. I felt when they hit pockets of infection and what made it worse was hearing the scalpel cut through the tissue. Imagine cutting up ribs or better yet, the cartilage part of chicken. That’s what it sounded like. During the procedure they even hit me with another shot before taking a break and I could feel the needle go into the wound.
After that I couldn’t feel a thing. Thank God for that because I was breathing so hard from what I was feeling earlier that I probably would’ve passed out. The incisions remain open to drain but since they are superficial wounds, the dentist said that they would heal over within six hours. Now I’m home and typing up this post. Never have I been through so much pain. Having to be cut open blew but if it’s going to help out my situation then I’m all about it. I still haven’t had my root canal but it’s only because of all this other crap that happened. It has to heal for a couple weeks before they can do it and the swelling might stay for a month or so. It all sucks but I’m hanging in there. So really, the moral of this story is,
TAKE CARE OF YOUR STUPID TEETH OR LEARN THE HARD WAY!Post Views: 276