The past couple weeks have been pretty crazy. A project that began as a short digital story has come to light through a Kickstarter campaign and those supporting it. The goal of Within the Trenches is to tell the stories of those who answer the call of duty through 9-1-1. The goal also covers public education in order for them to understand what goes on during a call. It will not only shed light on what we do but it will help our calls go a little smoother. As the project continued to grow and more episodes were recorded, I was able to setup some time to speak with the Holland Sentinel and WZZM 13.
When I made contact with Peg McNichol of the Holland Sentinel I had just awaken from a 12 hour shift in dispatch. I was half awake but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. So I sat up in bed and did my interview. I laughed right before the interview because it definitely wasn’t the way I expected it to go but the whole interview went great! Oh, and if I didn’t mention it already, the interview was over the phone, not in bed. So, a few days later the article hit and that morning I went to the local Family Fare to get a few things for breakfast. Once again I was half awake and as I walked to the closest check-out lane I passed the front desk. I stopped and wondered if the story had been printed that morning. I walked back and there it was. My smile grew and my eyes popped open. I think I squealed like a little girl as I snagged three newspapers. The cashier gave me an odd look and I said, “I’ll take these…I’m on the front page.” The cashier looked at me like I was crazy and then looked down at the newspaper. She gave it a double take and gave me that, “I don’t believe that’s you” look. I laughed, which probably made me look like a creeper, and paid and left.
From there the media spotlight continued and a few days after that, my newly appointed co-host Whitney and I were greeted by Angela Cunningham of WZZM 13. Whitney and I sported our official Within the Trenches t-shirts and although everything went great, I was freaking out! I paced back and forth as I waited for them to get to dispatch and both Whitney and our assistant director kept telling me that everything would be just fine. They were right and you probably can’t tell from the video but I was sweating and nervous. Since then the show has blown up. The media spotlight has been great and it’s only the beginning. Recently I created an event on Facebook for Within the Trenches as an open invitation to all 9-1-1 dispatchers to appear on an episode. We started out with just a few and now we have people from all over the United States and different countries that want to take part in the show. I will provide the link to our fan page, event, and the media coverage. It’s time that the unsung hero’s of emergency services get the spotlight they deserve. Thank you for all you do and I recommend that everyone listen to the show. You will learn a lot and you might even be better prepared if you ever have to call 9-1-1.