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By Ricardo — 1 year ago
Welcome back to another episode of Within the Trenches, a podcast based on the experience of being a 9-1-1 dispatcher. A lot has happened in the past couple of weeks and instead of boring you with text on this post I would like for you to listen to this episode with guest Jamison, Director of Weakly County 9-1-1 & is the Emergency Management Director as well as an ENP and 2nd VP of NENA and share it on social media. In this episode we take a deep dive look at the reclassification issue.
As always if you have any comments, questions or you would like to be a guest on the show send an email to email@example.com. To see what you can do to help NENA’s push for reclassification follow the link below. Also if you have not done so make sure to check out the t-shirts for the #IAM911 movement.
NENA Reclassification – Web
#IAM911 t-shirt – Web
Episode topics –
Post Views: 69
- Jamisons’s 9-1-1 story
- The fight for reclassification
- #IAM911 movement
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
How does one realize they have the ability to shrink down to a size small enough to crawl into hole? Well, unless you’re Alice and drinking or eating different things in Wonderland, there is only 1 true step to realize this ability. Now, in order for me to reveal this step I must give a scenario. About a week ago my son and I were headed to the store to get a few things for dinner. I had the radio on a Rock station and a Kid Rock song was on. Normally I would have changed it but every word appeared to be bleeped out…or so I thought.
“Um…dad, what was that?”
“What was what?”
“Well, I heard the guy singing and then I heard a bleep sound.”
“Oh…well he said a bad word so instead of hearing the bad word they put in a bleep sound.”
“Oh, ok then.
I thought I was in the clear until the next verse destroyed everything.
“I AM AMERICAN BAD@$$!”
*Gasp* “HE SAID ASS!”
I froze and began to sweat. I was shocked but it was my own fault. Given the singer and the song I should have known that something would have been left without a bleep.
“What did you say?”
“Ass, he said ass. That’s a bad word…right?”
I tried not to laugh. “Yes, you’re right, it is a bad word but you don’t ever repeat it again.”
“Okay, I won’t but someone needs to tell them that they forgot to bleep that out.”
I chuckled to myself but had that been in public I would have taken that 1 step to shrinking myself and crawling into a hole. This is what I want to talk about. Everyone has been there and some more than others but what can you do? Children are honest and they speak their mind. They haven’t learned about what’s frowned upon in public yet so they have us, the mighty adults and parents, to guide them the best we can. It’s all we can do really, but when they speak it can sometimes lead to some very embarrassing moments.
So let’s get started. Many years ago I attended a graduation ceremony with my family. I was about 10 years old which would have made my younger brother 5, and my younger twin sisters 4. The weather was beautiful and the graduation ceremony was like any other but at the end of it I’m sure my parents realized their ability to shrink. The ceremony had just finished up and we were making our way to the parking lot from the football field at Fennville High School. My parents held the hands of my younger sisters and people were walking in between them. They didn’t seem to mind until a teacher, Mr. Lugten, walked between them. If you’re from Fennville you know exactly what I’m getting at here. This man was very nice and was an excellent teacher but he was very very tall and to a 4 year old…well…it was rather embarrassing for my parents.
I remember seeing Mr. Lugten walking towards us and my sisters were rambling on about all the people. I could see my parents staring in front of them and I realized they were looking at Mr. Lugten. As he got closer I my dad looked down at my sisters and back in front of him. My parents stepped to the side as Mr. Lugten walked in between them. My sisters locked their sight onto him and yelled,
“WHOA, IT’S A GIANT!”
I heard my parents gasp and everyone turned and stared at us. My dad looked up, took a deep breath, and apologized.
“I’m really sorry about that.”
“It’s okay Richard, I get that a lot.”
Mr. Lugten laughed it off and continued walking but my sisters kept looking back at him. It was hilarious and although my parents took their step toward shrinking it wasn’t all that bad. My dad actually knew Mr. Lugten from their days playing softball for different leagues but the incident was embarrassing none the less. It’s funny to think back on my parents and their urge to crawl into a hole but the more I laugh the more I think about my own kids getting me with something like that. One incident I remember fondly was when my son and I were leaving the grocery store and walking back to our car. I noticed an elderly woman walking towards us and she was carrying an oxygen tank and wearing a mask. I immediately panicked because I knew Logan would say something. I took a deep breath to settle myself down and just let go. How bad could it be? He had not made eye contact so I figured I was in the clear and worrying for nothing. As she walked by us it happened,
“What’s wrong with her!?”
“Shhh! Hold on!”
I could hear the woman breathing heavily and I pulled Logan as he stared at her.
“Quit staring Logan.”
“I’m sorry but she sounds like Darth Vader.”
He had said it loud. Loud enough for her to hear and I quickly turned in order to apologize in case she was looking our way but she continued walking. My face was hot and I looked down at Logan.
“Dude, you shouldn’t say things like that. She needs that to breathe.”
“Well I didn’t know that. She does sound like Vader though…”
At that moment I wanted to crawl into a hole but I couldn’t. Luckily no one had heard the conversation but as a parent you feel like everyone heard it and you want to escape. Another embarrassing moment takes place many years ago. It was during Thanksgiving and my entire family was at my Aunt Mary’s house. We were all gathered around the table for prayer and during prayer someone yelled out in a mousey voice,
“Dad! Dad! I need you to wipe my butt!”
All of us kids began to laugh and even some of the adults but my Uncle Manuel continued praying. My father quickly walked off in embarrassment. It was hilarious for us but my dad was all bent out of shape. What made it even better was that all of this was recorded on tape. Ah, kids…you can never tell when they are going to say something to trigger your ability to shrink and hide. One final example comes from a time when my wife and son had gone to church and Logan began to sing something that was far from a choir hymn. Now, before this incident we had been playing a lot of Guitar Hero. Logan loved almost every song and one in particular was his cup of tea. So while sitting in church and right before someone began to pray out loud to the congregation, my boy Logan belted out his song.
“Shout! Shout! Shout! Shout at the Devil!”
Yep, “Shout at the Devil” by none other than Motley Crew. Hearing my wife tell the story is hilarious but at that moment in time all she could do was put her hand over his mouth and shoosh him. If it had been me, I might have pinched him and told him to stop, followed by smiling at everyone and possibly waving. Either way, it takes just one step and as I mentioned before, kids are honest in what they say. We’re the ones here to guide them but sometimes…sometimes, that guidance can backfire with the complete honesty of a child. So what embarrassing moments have you had? Let’s start up a discussion and share stories. What incident made you realize that it only takes one easy step to figure out ones ability to shrink and crawl into a hole?Post Views: 38
By Ricardo — 1 year ago
Guest blog post by Shae, 9-1-1 dispatcher out of central Indiana
This smile hurts my face.
I sit around the table for an early Christmas dinner, quietly wondering if anyone has noticed that my smile isn’t real. I’m having trouble faking. Family and extended family are all talking at once and it’s sensory overload.
I excuse myself and sit in the living room with the kids, realizing I have more in common with them than anyone my age – we’re both not interested in “grown up” talk. The houses, the cars, the material goods – they talk about their good fortune and maybe brag a little. And I sit there wondering what families aren’t as fortunate as theirs.
I’m not trying to be a snob, I just don’t have things in common with them anymore. The houses, the cars, the material goods. I’ve come to despise holidays, for the runs I’ve been on and the calls I’ve taken. Years as a medic and now a dispatcher too, my life’s mission to serve the people has cast a gloomier view on these holiday events.
That house we passed on the way to the store is where I’ve told a husband his wife of 60 years is gone. Those crosses by the bridge are where I watched a family of four die – unable to get to them quickly enough. The bag boy loading our Christmas groceries is spending another holiday without his mother – I know, I took his call.
The nightmares I have will never end, I’ve been invited into some of the most intimate moments in people’s lives. I’ve seen pain and suffering, taking it home with me to nestle in bed, awake and scared that their fate will become my own. Worried that what’s worse, it will eventually stop effecting me and that’s when I’ll know it’s time to hang it up.
I’ve got PTSD. Those four letters are hard to say. I’ve spent time afraid that if I say it out loud, someone will question me why – and they do. I feel shame, like what I have I didn’t deserve. They think PTSD is for soldiers, and I’m just a dispatcher. I can’t begin to explain it so I shrug my shoulders and walk away, knowing that someone else’s pain and suffering is now a part of me as a person and I can’t begin to make sense of it for them.
Family gatherings like this are exhausting, for the well meaning but always annoying questions about work, about my worst call. They want to live through me, feel a thrill of a life saved but most of the stories that I carry around aren’t happy ones. No one really wants to know unless it’s a happy one. So I make something up, hoping that it will satisfy them for the moment, and it does. I can go back to sitting at the kids table, content in their chatter.
I look forward to being able to go home, and just be by myself. My own demons feel like better company sometimes. They’re familiar at least. I know what to expect. It’s not that I don’t love my family, I just can’t make them understand and that feels more exhausting to me.
So I smile, nod my head and sit there quietly just waiting to go home.Post Views: 98