Within the Trenches is back with episode 31! 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 Elise, the Executive Director of 9-1-1 for Kids. The history of the organization is revealed as well as the main purpose, which is to help reduce 9-1-1 misuse. This was an excellent episode and as you will hear in the beginning and the end of the show the music is different. This was done in honor of 9-1-1 for Kids and more information on the song can be found on their website by following the links below. This episode is packed with information and as always you can email the show at email@example.com.
Episode topics –
- The main goal of 9-1-1 for Kids
- The importance of public education
- Awards given for 9-1-1 heroes
- 9-1-1 stories involving child heroes
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By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Ah young love. Do you remember your first love? Do you remember your first love note? If your first love note was around elementary or within middle school you probably received a straight up “I love you” note or a “Do you like me? Circle yes or no.” It’s interesting how even at a very young age we seek acceptance for what we believe is love. I suppose it is called puppy love, the beginning of the butterflies, and the time when you are in “like” with someone because you are too young to know the difference.
I speak of this because I am currently fascinated with what my seven year son Logan is experiencing in 1st grade. A few weeks ago my wife and I walked to pick him up from school. On our way back two girls rolled up next to Logan on their scooters. The younger of the two, who will be named Jean Grey, said hello to Logan and they took part in a small conversation. Jean’s older sister went ahead and called for Jean and she left but made sure to say good-bye to Logan. As she went ahead I noticed her looking back and smiling at him. I told my wife and we both watched as she continued to look back. It seemed as though she had a crush but how could this six year old girl have a crush? How would she know what this is?
A week later I received a text message from my wife with a picture of a love note that was given to Logan by Jean. It said, “I love you” and “True Love”. I naturally thought, “That’s my boy” but I also thought about how amazing this interaction was. What exactly does this feel like to her or Logan? Is it butterflies or do they just think each other is cool? Whatever it is, I think it’s interesting and refreshing. We have all been there with our first love note and first love. Hopefully this story takes you down your own memories of, “Do you like me? Circle yes or no.”Post Views: 479
By Ricardo — 5 months ago
I recently sent someone an #IAM911 story. The person responded saying that the story was heart wrenching but they asked a question after that, “can you tell me what it’s like to be on the receiving end of these calls?” The following was my response.
Imagine your brother has been dealing with a bad break up. You go to the bar and after a few drinks he tells you he wants to kill himself. You tell him to stop talking like that. It’s not the end of the world. You head home and when you arrive your brother mentions suicide again. Fed up with what he is saying you go inside, grab a gun and take it outside. You hand it to your brother and say, “If you really want to then do it.” You think that he will realize how stupid of an idea this is and will change his mind but…he grabs the gun and shoots himself in the head killing himself in front of you.
Now imagine you’re 9-1-1, receiving this call and only hearing screams. It sounds like two females screaming over the phone. You ask, “What’s your address? Ma’am? Can you hear me?” The screaming continues and you type out, “Unknown situation.” You remember a technique from your training and bring your voice to a whisper tricking the caller into thinking no one is there.
The screaming stops, “Hello? Hello?”
“This is 9-1-1, what’s your address and what is going on?”
While she tells you the address you hear screaming in the background.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE HE DID IT! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”
“Who is there with you?”
“My boyfriend and his brother who shot himself outside.”
“Who is the other female screaming?”
“That was my boyfriend…”
You realize the pain in the boyfriend and although you are strong and calm on the phone, in the back of your head all you can think about is your own brother.
“Ma’am, the police and ambulance are on the way.”
“The ambulance is coming ok?”
You hear your caller try to comfort her boyfriend but you hear him yell something that you will never forget.
“What the hell is an ambulance going to do? My brother’s face is all over the snow!”
The screaming continues and you hear your caller yell that her boyfriend now has the gun. He yells that he wants to kill himself. You tell her to get away from him and he eventually drops the gun and runs back outside. Police arrive and what felt like 15 minutes worth of chaos was more like 3 minutes. Police secure the boyfriend outside and rush in to check out the caller. She continues to cry and says thank you. You hang up the phone and sit there in shock.
“Are you ok,” your supervisor asks.
“Yeah I’m good,” you respond.
But you’re not good. You’re rocked and the screams echo in your head. For the next 3 hours they echo in your head and all you want to do is call your own brother just to hear his voice.
When you finally get the chance you tell him you love him. He asks what happened and after you tell him about the call he says, “I love you too.”
This is what it is like to be on the receiving end of these calls. This was a call that I took and this was years ago but I can still hear those screams of heartache. It never goes away. It is always there but you face it and manage it. I have said that taking a 9-1-1 call is like getting in a car, slamming the gas pedal and letting go of the steering wheel. I used to bury these calls and I caused more damage that way. Now I talk about them and it’s therapeutic for me. A big thing to understand is that 9-1-1 dispatchers are not drones. We don’t JUST answer the phone. We are there with you throughout the entire call and we may be calm and at the top of our game but in the back of our minds we are feeling your emotion. After the call, if there is time, we can reflect on it but the majority of the time? We pick up the next call and have no time to decompress.
I hope this answers your question…
RicardoPost Views: 8,466