Within the Trenches is back with episode 29! 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 Kristina and Shelley of Bartlett PD in Tennessee and Rob of Queensland Police Service located in Brisbane, Australia. In this episode we share first time calls, the importance of knowing your location and the stress that comes with working in the 9-1-1 profession.
All of the episodes I recorded while I was here were great but I made a personal bond with this group throughout my stay in North Carolina so it made this episode special. You will also have a lot to take away from this because of the amount of great information on here. As always you can email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episode topics –
- How Kristina got into 9-1-1
- How Shelley got into 9-1-1
- How we as dispatcher’s play the “woulda shoulda game” on calls
- Advice for the public when calling 9-1-1
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By Ricardo — 7 years ago
The experience of life is an interesting one. You can be at the top living like a king and life can slap you with a reality check and bring you down. Once you’re at the bottom you feel as though you’ll never get out. You fall further and finally you hit rock bottom. From my experience, this is where you find yourself. You figure out what you’re made of and you fight your way back to the top. It’s a long journey. Nothing is perfect and nothing is easy. We don’t have an easy button, though we wish Staples would lend us their’s for our personal use. It takes patience and hard work to live like a king again. I have experienced this and though I have mentioned this in a previous post, it deserves another mention to let people know that it’s possible to make it out of the hole.
With all this said, I am thankful for everything that has happened to me. Yesterday I was having a conversation with my 7 year old while holding my 3 month old daughter about my past. I believe it started out with the topic of factories and how I worked at one before leaving for Florida. The conversation also included time travel and though I’m being vague here, the point of our conversation was that if I had never lost my job I would have never moved to Florida and they would not exist. It took a little bit for him to understand but he got the point. When I think about it now, my life would have been completely different. So ultimately I’m thankful that the factory I worked for contributed to me hitting rock bottom. Had it not been for them laying me off I would not have moved to Florida, and I would have never met my wife or worked at Frostproof Police Department. That job started my whole career and my rise to the top. When talking about this with my son I went deaf for a moment. The thought of not having my family was gut wrenching.
Can you imagine what life would be like if you had made different choices? For me it’s crazy to think but in the end I’m thankful for everything that happened to me in my past. It got me where I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing. Life has blessed me with an excellent job, a wonderful family, and friends I can lean on when in need. I also went back to school and I currently hold an Associates with a concentration in Web Design, a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design that will wrap up in a couple months, and I will be seeking a Master’s in New Media Journalism right after that. I have also been blogging my heart out here. It’s been great doing this and I will continue to do it. It has helped me get my life experience out there, and opened some doors that will help in the future. I am thankful for a lot indeed. A big thanks goes out to my wife Rebecca, who has helped me get through moments where life has thrown a curve ball, to my kids who keep me on my toes and bring me back to my child-like imagination, my family, friends and co-workers who are the best that anyone could ever have, to my new Jabber Log writers who have contributed to fresh material, Candis of EcoBuns, Cassidy of Cassidy Rae Studio, Maddie Larkin, Jackie Green of WGRD who I have had a pleasure of working with and for the shout out that means so much to me, and everyone I have ever come in contact with. My story alone shows that with hard work you too can break out and work your way back from rock bottom. Remember to be thankful for everything that life slaps you with. Whether good or bad you have the ability to make it back. Keep fighting, keep working hard, rise up, and don’t hold back. It’ll be worth it in the end. Keep reading folks and Happy Thanksgiving. The show goes on…Post Views: 255
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
For years now I have heard this after saying what I do for a living, “Wow, that sounds interesting. So what’s your best or worst call?” Now, I’ve heard this many times and at first I was annoyed with it. I never wanted to say what I did for a living but then I thought about it. Why exactly do people want to know about what I do? The general public’s curiosity made me even more curious. After talking to several people I found out that they want to know because it’s not something you hear about that often. What we do for a living is very interesting and people really want to hear our stories.
All this curiosity has made me more than happy to talk about what I do. I’ve been in this line of work for a long time and I have heard just about everything you can think of. I’ve taken suicidal calls, medical calls, shootings, funny calls, car chases, and many more. I could blow your mind with the calls I’ve taken and you would be left with the question, “How do you do this for a living?” My answer would be, “It’s what I do and I’m damn good at it.” I have also shared moments with my work family that will never be forgotten and to explain it to someone would only scratch the surface of those specific moments. It’s these stories that I want to share with people; the calls you don’t hear and are curious about.
One time I was working the night shift with two of my co-workers. The night was rather calm and I was on radios. We talked throughout the night, which seemed to drag on, and a trooper keys up on the radio and says that he’s checking a residence for a girl that was possibly being held there by her boyfriend. I asked if he wanted any status checks and he said he was 10-5. This means that he doesn’t need any status checks. My co-workers and I went back to chatting and a couple minutes into the call an officer yelled something that no one ever wants to hear.
“SHOTS FIRED, SHOTS FIRED, OFFICER HIT.”
I can’t describe the feeling that went over me but my co-workers and I jumped into action to get an ambulance out to the scene to stage and direct other officers to assist those who were out at the house. It was unnerving to be in the dark of what was going on out there. We knew the gist but the specifics were unclear. We helped by looking up info on the house and it’s possible occupants. Anything the officers asked for we did it. After that we sat there as each officer called out his or her perimeter location. The standoff lasted past our shift and when I got home I couldn’t sleep. After a while I had to force myself to go to bed. When I woke up I looked online for the news story. It turned out that the suspect was arrested, one person died, and the officer who was shot was fine.
Moments like this happen at any time and I’ve seen my fair share. My experience in dispatch is not only interesting but it’s amazing. It’s something I want to share with everyone and I want you, the readers of this blog, to know more about what we as 9-1-1 dispatcher’s go through during these moments. It is also the basis of a Kickstarter project I started that will include a live podcast featuring the stories of 9-1-1 dispatchers. This podcast would give you a better idea of what we do and deal with. It will also start with dispatch but eventually I would like to add police, fire, and EMS. I will provide a link below to the Kickstarter page for pledges and rewards. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. My fellow dispatchers and I have many stories and this is just one way you can hear about them.
(Kickstarter – Within the Trenches Project Page)Post Views: 247
By Ricardo — 8 years ago
As I sit here sipping on some Honey Brown I can’t help but reflect on Easter 2011. I started out the morning a little later than usual, I made a friendly trip to the local infirmary, which the reason is on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know, and finally I capped it off with an excellent roast beast and tators made by my beautiful wife. Is there anything I left out? Ah yes! The lesson for today is to always set a second &*^%$ alarm because your dumbass will miss the first one at least once in your life. Maybe I will invest in the alarm clock shown here. Thanks Kipkay.com and the overall lesson for today has been brought to you and part by the number 4 and the letters F and U. Have a good night!Post Views: 228