Hello everyone! Whitney and I are back again this week with episode 13 of Within the Trenches. A few episodes back we spoke with Cheryl of Yakima, Washington and she was not only a dispatcher but she is part of her centers critical incident stress management (CISM) team. It was an interesting and informative show and since it went so well, we wanted to bring this week’s guest on to add to the topic of CISM. This week we spoke with Matt, operations manager of the communications center in Kent County. It’s one of our larger areas in western Michigan and he reflected on one of his first emergencies while attending an explorers program as a teenager with a local fire department. He also touched on the importance of CISM and we spoke briefly on a call he helped us out with when we were dealing with a loss of our own.
A big thanks goes out to Kent County for allowing us the opportunity to have Matt on the show and to Matt; thank you for everything you do! It’s appreciated more than you know. As always you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can click the black contact button on the left of this page. Thanks and make sure to listen, share and comment!
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By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Within the Trenches is back with episode 30! 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 Natalie, who is retired out of Miami Dade Fire Rescue after 36 years and Sherry, who is with the North Central Texas Counsel of Governments 9-1-1 Program. In this episode we talk about TERT (Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce) and who 9-1-1 calls when they need help. This episode is especially informative and interesting because I did not know a lot about TERT or what they did.
We also chat about major disasters, the benefits of TERT and how to get involved and help your fellow 9-1-1 professionals. For more information on TERT please follow the links below. As always you can email the show at email@example.com.
Episode topics –
Post Views: 104
- The meaning of TERT (Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce)
- What does TERT do?
- Recent major disasters where TERT was utilized
- How to get involved
By Ricardo — 2 years ago
Guest Blog Post
Author: Rachael Brain
Massachusetts EMT & Emergency Dispatcher
What did you do today?
Today I told a young man he had to stop crying so I could help him perform CPR on his mother. The mother who overdosed in the middle of his cartoons. I had to talk to a soldier suffering from severe post traumatic stress disorder and try to keep him on the line and convince him not to jump down onto the highway to stop the voices in his head. I had to listen to the graphic details of a sexual assault. I had to ask a mentally handicapped boy to stay away from the gun beside his fathers body as he described a horrific “brain painting” on the wall. Finally, I had to listen to the last raspy, agonal respirations of a two month old baby, because I wasn’t able to calm his terrified, distraught father enough to begin infant CPR.
I’m a 911 Dispatcher, which basically means I’m your gateway to help in an emergency. I don’t get weekends off and I miss almost every major holiday with my family so that I can be there to help protect and serve yours.
You almost never think about me until the moment you require my services, but believe me when I say that I am always thinking about you. Even if we’ve never met.
I’m the voice on the line during some of the worst moments of your life. You may think I’m cold and clinical and unfeeling. You may believe I’m a robot asking the same questions over and over again. You may call me names and curse me and believe I’m heartless. Trust me, I feel.
I feel every gasp and gurgle. I feel every scream of pain. Every heart wrenching cry of every mother of every lost child. I feel every second of fear with you. After the white knights have arrived to save the day, armed with the answers to those unfeeling questions, I feel them. When you have been brought to the hospital, treated and are back safe and warm in your bed, I feel them. Long after you thank the hero in uniform and you forget I was ever involved at all, I feel them.
I almost never know how the story ends for you. For me, it is an endless ellipsis…
Sometimes the sound of your voice replays in my head while I’m driving home. The sun will be shining and my face may be smiling as I’m surprised by the gas station attendant asking why I’m crying. Sometimes I don’t even feel the tears that just seem to leak. Sometimes it takes me a second or two before I realize they are leaking for you.
Sometimes I get frustrated and I don’t know why. I lash out at the people I love in my life for no especially important reason. I hold on to the guilt when I feel helpless. Sometimes I want to talk to people about the things that I’m feeling, but that’s hard too. I can’t tell anybody much. And my stories aren’t really the kind of stories most people want to hear. So most of the time, I just keep you in my head.
Sometimes, people ask me if I love what I do. I don’t believe anyone really loves it. I think when you first start out in EMS, you love the idea of it. Helping people. You love the feeling of brotherhood. You love being entrusted with the guardianship of your fellow man. But you don’t love what you do. Not in the depths of your soul. Because this job chips away at you, little by little. We have all lost brothers and sisters in this field. Killed in action, or the bottle, or their own hand when the voices get too loud. But we don’t do this job because we love it.
So why do we do this job?
We do it because it needs to be done. We do it because for whatever reason, those of us called to it, can. It’s as simple and as complex as that. I have friends and family who could never stomach the burden of the things I’ve seen working on the ambulance or the things I’ve said and heard on the 911 line. They could never carry the weight of those voices. So I CHOOSE to stand by for those moments when you need me. I commit to being there, staying calm and taking a little bit of your suffering into myself.
Do I love what I do? The truth is, No. Sometimes I wish I could just walk away and leave all the voices behind. The truth is, I know I never will. I will carry the voices with me, your voices, until they are all that’s left in the dark. There is another truth though. A deeper, truth. We have never met and will probably never meet. I will never hold your hand or hug you in an embrace. I will never wrap a present and fix it with a bow with your name on it. I will never get a birthday card or be invited to your wedding. You probably forgot my name the second you hung up the phone. But I love you. Deeply and profoundly, as sister or brother, I love you. Whoever you are.
Today, I answered the phone, “911, What is the location of your emergency?” and I held my breath…
What did you do today?
-Rachael, A 911 DispatcherPost Views: 145
By Ricardo — 4 weeks ago
I am excited to have Kim Turner, LLC. as a sponsor during the time the podcast is at the 2018 NAVIGATOR conference put on by the IAED. To learn more about Kim Turner, LLC. please read below and follow their links through social media.
Kim Turner, LLC. –
Our mission is to provide immersive, relevant training and consulting for the next generation of public safety 911 professionals and organizations.
Gone are the days of mind-numbing Power Point® slideshows with no student participation and endless war stories. Our instructors and consultants are current industry leaders and practitioners who are results-driven. We integrate proven adult learning methodologies, critical thinking, and thoughtful questioning to create rich learning environments where our students thrive in their training and development.
Our goal is for you to thrive in the classroom to better support you as a positive change agent in your organization and we accomplish this by challenging your critical thinking skills in a respectful and rewarding way. We work with the most renowned agencies in the country, small one-seat operations, and every size between. Our training is appropriate for dispatch, professional and sworn staff.
For more information –Post Views: 29