Within the Trenches is back with episode 34! 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 Tony, Deputy Executive Director of the European Emergency Number Association (EENA.) This is a very interesting episode in the sense of differences to the structure of 9-1-1 in Europe over the United States. Tony touches on some of the difficulties Europe is having with implementing new technologies and how phone calls for 112, 999 (9-1-1) are very similar to what we deal with in the states.
For more information on EENA you can follow the links below. As always you can email the show at email@example.com.
Episode topics –
- What EENA stands for
- Comparing 9-1-1/1-1-2 in the United States and Europe
- Implementing new technologies
- Staying ahead by looking at NG9-1-1 for when it hits Europe
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By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Within Allegan County Central Dispatch sits one of several seasoned 9-1-1 operators. Her 20 years of experience have contributed to the safety of the public as well as her co-workers in public safety. During down time, she jokes with her co-workers in the room. Having a contagious laugh, the others can’t help but join in. The phones rings, the room goes silent.
“9-1-1 where’s your emergency?”
This is how Tammy Gane answers a 9-1-1 call. She’s calm and professional with a helping of patience. She questions the caller asking for an address, name, phone number, and the situation. The call involves a car that was broken into over night. Something easy when it comes to taking a 9-1-1 call but it’s not always this easy. Tammy has dealt with far worse during the course of her career.
Gane, the oldest of three, grew up in western Michigan. The daughter of a homemaker and father, who was a truck driver, was taught a strong work ethic. This quality would follow her throughout her life and carry on in the lives of her two daughters. She began her career through friends and a chance meeting at an FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) corn roast. This meeting led to a night where she caught the public safety bug.
“I had a lot of friends that were in law enforcement and I played softball. Some of my girlfriends on the team were also married to state troopers so that’s how I got into the circle. One year I was at the corn roast with one of my girlfriends and I met Rachel’s dad there.” Rachel, being her eldest daughter, “we ended up going to a bar and his buddies left him. He wanted me to give him a ride home but I didn’t really know him so I made him stay at a hotel.”
She smiles and laughs as she reflects on this memory. “The next day he asked for a ride again and I didn’t even know him so I bought him a bus ticket and put him on the bus.” Laughter ensues as she continues her story. “We started dating and when we decided to get married I moved to Kalamazoo.” Gane explains that around the summer of ’85 her husband at that time had asked her if she wanted to ride with him during his night shift. It was the night before Thanksgiving. Gane had decided to accompany her husband that night. She started out the shift in dispatch where she describes the scene as “just crazy busy.” She later rode with her husband and witnessed a fight with a disorderly subject and radio traffic that left her pumped.
That night in dispatch was only the beginning. She would later land a job with Kalamazoo’s Juvenile Court. She dealt with child abuse neglect cases, delinquent adoption cases, and worked the switchboard. Gane also worked for a local attorney but moved to St. Joseph some time later. Around this time, she gave birth to her daughter Rachel and had gone from having a clerk’s job in the jail of Berrien County to working in dispatch. Her training back then in dispatch was that of pure observation and common sense. Her very first 9-1-1 call was someone who wanted to commit suicide.
“One night it got really busy and the 9-1-1 line was ringing and no one was available and the supervisor says, ‘answer it’.” Gane sits up as she gets into her story. “It was a guy saying, ‘I’m going to kill myself’ and I was thinking to transfer him to the suicide hotline.” The call was transferred while the caller continued to sob. When the suicide hotline picked up it was only an automated system. She disconnected from the hotline and continued to speak to the caller.
“I start talking to him and his wife had left him. Every Thursday night, I’ll never forget this…He goes and gets groceries and when he came home there was a note from his wife that she was leaving him and she left him a tape, a cassette tape, like a letter on a tape. He put the tape in, heard part of it and the machine ate it.” She continued to speak to him but the caller kept putting the phone down. “I kept thinking I was going to hear a gun shot,” Gane explains. Luckily she did not hear a gun shot. Instead she was able to keep her cool and keep the caller talking long enough for the officers to get there.
She tells the story of her first 9-1-1 call as if it were yesterday. She’s spoken to many suicidal callers since then but recently she answered a call that made national news. On the morning of Feb. 28th 2012, Gane took a call from a suicidal subject who led police on a high-speed car chase. She could hear a man screaming hysterically with police sirens in the background. Gane used her experience, calm demeanor, and patience to persuade the caller to not only slow down but also pull over. “First I asked, how fast are you going? And then lets take it down to 50 and let me know when you get to 30 and he just started listening,” Gane explains. The call can be heard in its entirety here but if you do a simple Google search you can find reports from all over on how well Gane did during this call.
Gane continues to set the bar high for 9-1-1 dispatchers. She describes her job as one where, “nothing is easy, it’s constant problem solving.” There is no real break within the walls of dispatch and Gane attributes stress relief by having good co-workers. They, and her two daughters admire her. “My mom is the most hard working woman I know. She has taught me the work ethic that I have today, and I truly thank her for that.” In the end, Gane looks back at her career and how to stay ahead of the rest.
“You have to be able to put up with everything. Deal with the bad and the good and hopefully the good outweighs the bad.”
(Audio Source: 911dispatch.com)Post Views: 295
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
In honor of Father’s Day I would like to take this time to talk about my father who is pictured on the left. Yes, on the left, the one with the bright white “Don King” hair. Although we’ve had our share of quarrels I thank you for everything you have done for me. You were very strict and hard on me but I thank you because I was able to develop a work ethic like no other. My sense of music is mostly because of you. Every trip we took to Texas when I was growing up I remember everyone crashed out late at night in the van while you and I were up front listening to Oldies and Classic Rock. I listen to the same with Logan and he loves it. Your thirst to compete has been embedded within me. It can be a curse at times but I’m a badass for it.
I remember a lot of times that you would have flashed your patented LOD and tore me a new one. A few times that come to mind are when you caught me smoking for the first time. I was about 16 or 17 and I really didn’t know what I was doing but you threatened me with smoking an entire carton if I thought I was man enough and I never smoked again…well until I was old enough which was still stupid of me because my dumbass has asthma. Thanks for trying to show me the way back then and I have since learned my lesson. I also remember my first beer. You had just left to work and I was curious as to what you were drinking so I snatched one. I cracked it open and the suds ran out and onto the steps of the basement. I took a sip and damn that Old Milwaukee tasted like ass! I about vomited and I hated it. Why would anyone drink this? I’m sure you knew I snatched one but you didn’t say anything. Years later we shared our first beer together and it reminded me of the scene from “Vacation” where Chevy Chase shares his beer with his son. I felt badass old man. Thank you for always treating me like an adult and being tough on me. Despite the hard ass in you there is a fun fool that comes out every now and then. This is why I used the picture of Tio Fernando, Tio Joe, and yourself. The sense of humor here is what I dig the most. It’s not always out in the open but when it emerges it’s contagious. Thank you once again for being you. Thank you for being my father.Post Views: 217
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Good evening folks! The AudioVillains are back again with episode 21! Where’s episode 20 you ask? Well, like every show, there is a lost episode. For us, episode 20 is our lost episode. We had some technical difficulties and although it was a great show there was some static that ruined it. Either way though, we are back after a couple weeks off and we kicked ass! This week we talked about 80’s Kung-Fu movies, the paradox of time travel and Terminator 3, and finally we made some cracks at Mike Tyson. It’s something we would never do in person because we would get our asses handed to us but in the end it was all fun and games. As always you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click the black button on the left. Cheers!Post Views: 207