Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are having an excellent day. I am currently in Lansing, Michigan for the 2013 NENA conference. This episode is the first of a series that will be recorded here. I have been attending classes, meeting new people and for this episode I had the pleasure of speaking to Dee Ann, the assistant director of Tuscola County Central Dispatch. We had an excellent conversation and this is one that you can’t afford to miss! As always you can email the show at email@example.com and make sure to ‘Like’ us on Facebook!
Episode topics –
- How Dee Ann got into dispatch
- 9-1-1 calls that have stuck with her
- What an ENP is
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By Ricardo — 2 years ago
For over 13 years I answered the call of those who needed help. I have listened to couples yell and swear at each other over the phone while their kids cried in the background, the heavy breathes of someone terrified that they will be found while hiding from an intruder and the sound of mourning as a loved one has taken their last breath. I have also listened to a frantic father as his wife gave birth to their child, the tears of joy as the Heimlich instructions I gave helped a mother dislodge hard candy from her child’s throat, and the feeling of satisfaction from talking down a suicidal subject. I have also sat on the radio while an officer yelled out, “SHOTS FIRED, OFFICER HIT” while my team and I sat in horror, speechless and listening to voices to figure out who was shot. I’ve listened to an officer call for back up while out with a known felon and stared at the monitor in slow motion as backup made their way to assist their brother in blue. I have also cracked jokes with fellow dispatchers and officers during a shift on situations and topics that only we would understand.
I have taken every call that you can think of and worked almost every emergency situation and I survived. I have to thank my co-workers and all those in the field throughout Allegan County, MI for helping me. We worked like a well oiled machine and I will always be grateful to you. Throughout the years we shared our knowledge and triumphed on nights that felt like they would never end and were impossible to handle. It was through that shared knowledge that made us great. Towards the end of my dispatch career I took this idea of shared knowledge and decided to venture out. I attended my first NENA conference in 2012 not knowing what to expect. I was under the assumption that this would be one long week of classes where I would be bored out of my mind but I was wrong. I was hooked and grateful that I was given the opportunity to attend. A few years prior to the 2012 conference I hit the dispatch burn out stage. It was horrible. I was working an ungodly amount of overtime, I hardly saw my family and I was going to school full-time. I began working on a school project that lit my passion on fire and is the earliest version of the podcast I created, Within the Trenches. I also began to write about my experience in dispatch and after Michigan NENA my passion for 9-1-1 was on.
What solidified my passion at the conference was meeting people who did the same thing I did every day. I spoke to people who had taken similar calls and understood what it was like on the other side of the line. It’s something I can’t explain, you have to experience it. Now, some might say that their experience was dull and nothing like mine but my thought is that you have to put yourself out there. Jump out of your comfort zone and talk, learn and share your knowledge. The following year I had a popular blog where I shared my 9-1-1 experience and the beginning of my podcast. At the 2013 Michigan NENA conference I spoke for the first time about my dispatch story and the show. I also recorded a handful of episodes and from there I was jolted to the national conference in Charlotte, NC. I met so many people at the conference. I interviewed industry partners, dispatch directors and the unsung heroes of 9-1-1, dispatch. It was an amazing experience!
Recently, NENA and Friends of 911 started a scholarship that would send dispatchers to the national conference. I have been lucky enough to interview the dispatchers who were awarded the scholarship since the time it started. Later this month they will start up the registration process for the scholarship and it makes me wish I had had the opportunity to apply back when I was in dispatch but in the end I found my own way. Because of my experience with NENA, I want to create my own scholarship through the podcast. I have spoken to a few people within NENA to make this happen and they like the idea. This is not to take away from what they are doing, it is to add to what they are doing. With that said I am looking for sponsors to help make this happen. The scholarship will cover the conference registration, a one-day training course and a $500 travel stipend. The total value will be just under $2,000. Your sponsorship will get you advertising on the podcast as well as the blog and all of my social media outlets. The difference will be covered by merchandise sold through the podcast. Instructions on how dispatchers can register for this scholarship will be released in the next week. A link for two of the products are found below along with t-shirts coming soon. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can work together to sweeten the deal in return for your participation.
The Within the Trenches Podcast Scholarship is something I have thought about for a while and now I am going to make it a reality. Let’s help a 9-1-1 dispatcher out there attend this conference and experience something amazing. My ride started in Allegan and has continued through organizations like NENA and the company I work for, INdigital. I continue to do what I do because I believe everyone has a story to tell and by telling those stories we share knowledge.
Daughters of Dispatch – Nine One One Original 5X5 Vinyl Decal – Link
Sons of Dispatch – Nine One One Original 5X5 Vinyl Decal – LinkPost Views: 55
By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Good morning everyone! Ever since Within the Trenches hit its goal the show has become quite popular. With such an outpour of support it not only makes me happy but it proves how important this show is. I have been working on spreading the word on the show as well as submitting feeds in order for people to have the ability to download certain apps and stream the show over their mobile devices. As of right now there are three separate feeds. I stated this in a previous post but I wanted to state it again so that it is clear. The feeds are separated as separate categories with one being Within the Trenches, The AudioVillains (NSFW), and a feed to rule them all, The JCast. The last one holds all the shows in one. I did this because not everyone wants to hear every show and all three links can be found on the right side of the site.
With that said I’m happy to announce that Within the Trenches is not only on iTunes for subscription but on Stitcher Radio. For those who have not heard about Stitcher, it’s a free mobile app available for iPhone, Android and other mobile devices. It’s an on-demand podcast, news and public radio app. Ever since I started using Stitcher I have discovered many great shows and I highly recommend it. I will provide a video on Stitcher and a link to Within the Trenches for your listening pleasure. Thank you again for listening and this Wednesday January 16th episode 3 will be recorded. If you have any questions please contact me any time at the JCast’s official email email@example.com. If you are a fan of the show or you know someone who is, make sure to ‘Like’ Jabber Log on Facebook for up to date information on new episodes.Post Views: 42
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Hitting rock bottom is the worse feeling in the world. You feel worthless, and things can spiral so far out of the norm that you begin to wonder if it will ever end. Once you’ve made the necessary changes, you slowly make your way back to the top. You feel that nothing can stop you but this is your arrogant side shining bright. Anything can bring you down if you let it. When I was on my rise to the top I had a few hiccups. One hiccup turned into a belch that almost cost me my life. It’s the rash decisions that put one in a place where they might not come back but I swear someone was watching out for me that night. Before this incident I was on my way up to where I am today. I was kicking life in the ass and well…life was about to kick mine.
I had gone out with a good friend of mine to a local sports bar to play pool and have a couple drinks. We took down a pitcher and decided to chill for the rest our time since he was driving. It was a good time and we met a few people. I started to noticed that my friend was having a few more with them and although I was asked, I decided to remain sober. Something didn’t feel right from then on. We continued to meet new people and hours passed. I had been guzzling Pepsi since I had stopped drinking hours prior and my stomach began to hurt. I felt nervous for some reason and my friend was having a great time with everyone else. He too, had stopped drinking and didn’t act like he had as much as I thought. My nerves began to settle but there was this voice that kept calling to me. Now, you know what voice that is right? It’s the voice of reason that tells you something is off but you’re too stubborn to listen.
As the voice continued to echo in the back of my head my buddy had decided that we should go to a club to meet a couple of the girls we had met at the sports bar. I had told him to stop by my house on the way so that I could get some more money and in all reality I had no intentions on going. I was on the schedule for dispatch duty at 2pm the next day and I needed to get some rest. When we arrived at my home I told him I wasn’t going. He was cool with it and was going to head there himself but I noticed that he got a little hazy. The initial drive to my home was fine. There was nothing out of the ordinary but now he seemed very tired. He worked midnights and had been up for 24 hours already. The combination of bar play and work had proved to be too much for him but still he wanted to go to the club. I couldn’t let him go alone. I went for the keys but he wouldn’t give them up. After going back and forth for a while I jumped in the passenger seat. What was I thinking? Why did I get in the car when the voice in my head was telling me not to?
We took off and everything was fine. Once we hit the highway something changed. The car was getting going faster and we were weaving in and out of traffic. I gained tunnel vision from fear of what would happen next and all I could hear was my friend telling me to chill and that everything would be fine. As I looked around I noticed that the highway was wet and I asked my friend to slow down. I was sick to my stomach and the voice was no longer there. I had missed my chance to really listen and now I was headed for whatever life had waiting for me. I glanced over at the speedometer and I swear it looked to be over 100mph. I could see the water jumping from the road through the tires and past my window. I began to pray and held onto the handle above my door. We were quickly approaching a semi and once we passed on the left it happened. I was numb to the world and for a moment I couldn’t hear anything. There was no voice, the music in the car had disappeared and all that was left was life showing me what can happen to those who don’t listen to their voice of reason. Everything from then on was in slow motion. I see this as life giving you a chance to take everything in. You see exactly what is going on in order to remember every moment. It’s a way of learning a lesson.
We hit a patch of water in the highway and spun out of control. I saw the world spin around us and my friend kept telling me that it would be ok. We spun off the highway, down into a ditch and into some trees. When we hit the ditch the car went up on two wheels and we almost flipped. Had we gone over I’m sure that I wouldn’t be here typing this story. I closed my eyes for a moment as the sounds of the car breaking apart filled my ears. I prayed and prayed until we finally stopped spinning. A few cars stopped but never checked on us. The car was somewhat drivable and we made our way to the highway. My friend changed one of the tires that had gone flat and we decided to head home. We didn’t talk much on our way back. The car was still falling apart and the front passenger tire went flat. We drove on the rim the rest of the way and sparks flew up. I was still in shock when we stopped at a friends house to call my mom to come pick us up. The car was destroyed. The axel in back of the car was pretty damaged and I was surprised we were able to drive it as far as we did. When I finally got home I thanked God that we made it. I remember crying because I could have died that night. I was working hard to get back to the top in life and one decision almost cost me my life. It’s funny how one can feel like they are on top of the world and life can take that and slap you in the face to bring you back to reality. Life is interesting that way is it not? It seems that nothing gets through unless it’s some drastic and altering experience. Just remember that when facing a decision that feels off, don’t ignore the voice of reason. That voice, along with life can teach you a lesson. It’s up to you to make the right one…Post Views: 43