Good evening folks! I am very happy to announce that the first episode of Within the Trenches went live today. My good friend Whitney joined me and I have to say that it went great. For those who don’t know what Within the Trenches is, this is a podcast version of a segment with the same name on Jabber Log that revolves around 9-1-1 dispatch. I started writing about my experience about a year ago and it was meant to be interesting and educational for the readers, as well as therapeutic for myself. The posts have done great on my blog and I wanted to take it a step further by creating a podcast based on the stories of 9-1-1 dispatchers.
I recently launched a Kickstarter project for this podcast idea in order to raise $1,500 to buy the equipment needed to make this a four person show. As of right now I have 8 days left in the campaign and $330. This first episode is a taste of what this show is all about and it is my hope that I can still make my goal. I will provide the link below to the Kickstarter page where you can pledge and depending on how much you pledge, you can get a reward as well. Right now the majority of the pledges are going for $25 and that can get you an official Within the Trenches t-shirt, a thank you on the sponsor page and a mention in one of the upcoming episodes of the show. I hope you will enjoy this first episode and there is a lot more to come. Thanks again to Whitney and everyone who has pledged to help bring the project closer to it’s goal.
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By Ricardo — 4 years ago
You find it rewarding to be a Communications Training Officer (CTO), but it’s been a long day with the trainee that hasn’t gone well. You are so busy that your 12 hour shift has turned into 14 and finally the time to go home arrives. But then you remember…you still need to fill out your daily observation (field training paperwork) for the new dispatcher.
CTOs are a critical component for a successful trainee experience, and their documentation is imperative for liability protection. While most dispatch centers have high tech software for handling calls, many are still using pen and paper for their daily observations and other on-boarding documentation. If the agency happens to use a Word document or PDF fillable form, these forms still need to be printed and signed to ensure the trainee receives feedback.
The cumbersome nature of manual paper forms creates a hassle to track information down and ensure that a trainee’s file is complete. Quality issues arise in the absence of a consistent, standardized training program. These challenges result in a limited ability to address training issues in a timely manner and be proactive in preventing problems. And without easy, real-time access to the data, supervisors can look like they’re out of touch when asked about the status of a trainee or the overall group, especially on short notice.
It doesn’t have to be that way any longer! Agency360 is on a mission to change this approach. Our web-based field training software is designed to manage the documentation of your on-boarding training program online. Using Internet connectivity, trainers, trainees, supervisors, and administrators can access and complete their information anytime, anywhere. With fields that you can modify, the software can be adapted to your way of training and help ensure your agency-specific policies and procedures are covered.
To learn more check out our website at http://www.agency360.com?utm_source=withinthetrenches or come see us in Booth 154 at the NENA Conference in Denver June 29th and 30th!Post Views: 386
By Ricardo — 3 years ago
Written by –
Ryan Dedmon, M.A.
Outreach Director, 911 Training Institute
It’s raining in Southern California. Again. It has rained here 3 days a week for the last month, breaking only long enough for things to dry out before the next storm front rolls in. It has rained more in the last month than it has the last 3 years. I suppose that’s a good thing. California has long suffered from a drought, but rain makes everything more miserable.
We Californians love our sunshine and we expect the weather to be a tropical sunny and 75 all year long, so we are often ill-prepared for rainy weather. A little water falls from the sky and we all seem to forget how to drive; we navigate around countless traffic collisions and stalled out vehicles; traffic congestion, as if not already bad enough in California, becomes a living nightmare; and most of us don’t own a quality umbrella. Thus, we arrive late for work soaking wet.
Earlier this week was one such day for me. There I was stuck in heavy traffic because the intersection up ahead was on 4-way red-flash due to flooding from an apocalyptic rainstorm. My commute was taking me three times as long as it should. The car in the lane to my left pulled up next to me and I witnessed the most precious moment.
There was a 5-year-old little girl sitting in a booster in the rear passenger seat. Her little head, covered under a big yellow rain hat, kept turning back-and-forth from the window to her mother in the front seat. The girl seemed to look right through me as her face and palms were pressed up against the window. Suddenly, she spun her head around with the biggest smile on her face and was bouncing up and down in her seat as her mother rolled down the rear window. The girl immediately stuck both her arms out the window palms up, as if trying to catch the drops of water falling from the sky. I smiled at her innocence, but then she surprised me. The girl threw off her hat, showing off two brown ponytails, and stuck her entire head out the window. She giggled uncontrollably as she stuck her tongue out catching raindrops, her hair and face getting soaked in the downpour. The smile on the face of that child depicting pure elation gave me pause to think… at what point in my life did I lose that childlike innocence when I felt so much joy from simply getting wet in the rain?
I was sitting in traffic on a rainy day thinking about the conference call I would be on later that afternoon, the emails I needed to reply to in my inbox, the upcoming project deadlines I needed to meet, and my calendar availability for the following week. I don’t have time to stop and enjoy the rain. Life is busy. “Adulting” is hard.
As a former police telecommunicator, I hated the rain. Working rainy days were always the worst. The attitude of callers unexplainably reflected the gloomy weather. Callers never failed to extend their personal sense of self-entitlement. Calls for police response were either traffic collisions or false burglary alarm activations, both caused by the rainy weather. Stupid rain. The ironic part about all of this: I now teach stress-management training classes for public-safety telecommunicators helping them to optimize their health and wellness.
As we grow older and transform into adults, we fail to find joy in many of the simple things from our childhood that once brought us happiness. We get busy; we have responsibilities. Our perspective becomes distorted by noise. We need to reshape our perspective if we want to improve our wellness. Stop and make time to smell the roses, roll in fields of grass, dance in the moonlight, enjoy the simple things we often take for granted… and maybe, just maybe, then even our rainy days will bring us rays of sunshine happiness.Post Views: 649
By Ricardo — 6 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: 593