Within the Trenches is back with episode 57! This is just one of several episodes recorded last week during the Indiana NENA state conference. In this episode I sat down to talk with Heather and Kelly, dispatchers out of LaGrange County in Indiana and they received one of this years Team Work Awards. We look at how they got started in 9-1-1 and how they played a major part in a situation where a woman was taken hostage in Michigan and ended up in Indiana. The suspect was a prisoner who had escaped from custody out of Ionia County.
This is a must listen so check it out and share! As always you can email the show at email@example.com.
Episode topics –
- How Heather got started in 9-1-1
- How Kelly got started in 9-1-1
- Team Work Award
- News coverage
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By Ricardo — 7 years ago
The idea of this project actually began several years ago. I had just started working at Allegan County Central Dispatch and I noticed a significant difference from my previous dispatch positions. The calls were more frequent and the intensity was heightened. I was taking calls that I would have never imagined being someone on the outside. One day I was messing around on my computer and I made a movie teaser trailer that consisted of a black background and words describing the job of a 9-1-1 dispatcher. I added music and posted it within Yahoo video’s and it was viewed many times. I even received comments saying that they couldn’t wait for summer of 2007 when this came out. Well this was simply an idea at the time and since then the idea has evolved.
I think the reason I kept up with it is because so many people had questions about my job and what I do. The curiosity of the public was so great that I felt the need to keep this idea alive. So, two years ago I created a video for my Digital Storytelling class that featured two of my co-workers. They shared a couple 9-1-1 stories and how they got into dispatching. From there the idea spawned an audio journalism piece as well as another video. The popularity of them and the curiosity of the public has pushed me to this Kickstarter project. People are interested in what we do as 9-1-1 operators and this is a way to let them in on our profession. I’m including the video that started my push and thank you all for pledging. I appreciate it more than you know. Keep sharing folks and we will hit the mark in no time.
Make sure to check out our Kickstarter project page and pledge and share!Post Views: 380
By Ricardo — 1 year ago
Welcome to another episode of Within the Trenches, true stories from the 9-1-1 dispatchers who live them. Episode 178 features Karin of RapidSOS and John of Hexagon and was recorded at the Iowa APCO conference.
Episode topics –
- Karin’s 9-1-1 story
- John’s 9-1-1 story
- John’s best call
- Calls that stick with you
- And more
As always if you have any comments, questions, topic suggestions or you would like to be a guest, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Views: 529
By Ricardo — 3 years ago
Guest Blog Post
Author: Rachael Brain
Massachusetts EMT & Emergency Dispatcher
What did you do today?
Today I told a young man he had to stop crying so I could help him perform CPR on his mother. The mother who overdosed in the middle of his cartoons. I had to talk to a soldier suffering from severe post traumatic stress disorder and try to keep him on the line and convince him not to jump down onto the highway to stop the voices in his head. I had to listen to the graphic details of a sexual assault. I had to ask a mentally handicapped boy to stay away from the gun beside his fathers body as he described a horrific “brain painting” on the wall. Finally, I had to listen to the last raspy, agonal respirations of a two month old baby, because I wasn’t able to calm his terrified, distraught father enough to begin infant CPR.
I’m a 911 Dispatcher, which basically means I’m your gateway to help in an emergency. I don’t get weekends off and I miss almost every major holiday with my family so that I can be there to help protect and serve yours.
You almost never think about me until the moment you require my services, but believe me when I say that I am always thinking about you. Even if we’ve never met.
I’m the voice on the line during some of the worst moments of your life. You may think I’m cold and clinical and unfeeling. You may believe I’m a robot asking the same questions over and over again. You may call me names and curse me and believe I’m heartless. Trust me, I feel.
I feel every gasp and gurgle. I feel every scream of pain. Every heart wrenching cry of every mother of every lost child. I feel every second of fear with you. After the white knights have arrived to save the day, armed with the answers to those unfeeling questions, I feel them. When you have been brought to the hospital, treated and are back safe and warm in your bed, I feel them. Long after you thank the hero in uniform and you forget I was ever involved at all, I feel them.
I almost never know how the story ends for you. For me, it is an endless ellipsis…
Sometimes the sound of your voice replays in my head while I’m driving home. The sun will be shining and my face may be smiling as I’m surprised by the gas station attendant asking why I’m crying. Sometimes I don’t even feel the tears that just seem to leak. Sometimes it takes me a second or two before I realize they are leaking for you.
Sometimes I get frustrated and I don’t know why. I lash out at the people I love in my life for no especially important reason. I hold on to the guilt when I feel helpless. Sometimes I want to talk to people about the things that I’m feeling, but that’s hard too. I can’t tell anybody much. And my stories aren’t really the kind of stories most people want to hear. So most of the time, I just keep you in my head.
Sometimes, people ask me if I love what I do. I don’t believe anyone really loves it. I think when you first start out in EMS, you love the idea of it. Helping people. You love the feeling of brotherhood. You love being entrusted with the guardianship of your fellow man. But you don’t love what you do. Not in the depths of your soul. Because this job chips away at you, little by little. We have all lost brothers and sisters in this field. Killed in action, or the bottle, or their own hand when the voices get too loud. But we don’t do this job because we love it.
So why do we do this job?
We do it because it needs to be done. We do it because for whatever reason, those of us called to it, can. It’s as simple and as complex as that. I have friends and family who could never stomach the burden of the things I’ve seen working on the ambulance or the things I’ve said and heard on the 911 line. They could never carry the weight of those voices. So I CHOOSE to stand by for those moments when you need me. I commit to being there, staying calm and taking a little bit of your suffering into myself.
Do I love what I do? The truth is, No. Sometimes I wish I could just walk away and leave all the voices behind. The truth is, I know I never will. I will carry the voices with me, your voices, until they are all that’s left in the dark. There is another truth though. A deeper, truth. We have never met and will probably never meet. I will never hold your hand or hug you in an embrace. I will never wrap a present and fix it with a bow with your name on it. I will never get a birthday card or be invited to your wedding. You probably forgot my name the second you hung up the phone. But I love you. Deeply and profoundly, as sister or brother, I love you. Whoever you are.
Today, I answered the phone, “911, What is the location of your emergency?” and I held my breath…
What did you do today?
-Rachael, A 911 DispatcherPost Views: 435