Good afternoon and welcome back to another episode of Within the Trenches. This episode brings us closer to the end of my time at Indiana’s NENA conference. My time there was inspiring, educational and I can’t wait for next year. The stories covered have been amazing and today’s episode is right up there with the best of them.
In this episode I had the chance to speak to Kimberly, a dispatcher/CTO with Jennings County 9-1-1, John, director with Jefferson County 9-1-1 and Nicole, Assistant Director with Montgomery County Communications Center. We reflected on the beginning of their careers along with some hard calls and advice/techniques on how to deal with them.
This is an episode you don’t want to miss! As always you can email the show at email@example.com.
Episode topics –
- How each guest started in 9-1-1
- Training techniques
- Dealing with hard calls
- The importance of attending a NENA conference
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Post Views: 179By Ricardo — 12 months agoWe administer CPR instructions, call pursuits, listen to shots fired, last breaths, and first cries. We are the nameless, faceless, first first-responders. #WithintheTrenchesPodcast #IAM911Video created by Within the Trenches Podcast Facebook Page Admin Shae.Music credit and all rights to the song “Human” belong to Rag’n’Bone Man.Huge props to Shae! Please watch and share.Post Views: 179
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Day in and day out we see news stories that reveal the inner workings of local government, small business owners, 9-1-1 calls, etc. The information given on news broadcasts can raise an eyebrow as to how it was obtained. So how do they get their information and are you, the general public, able to do the same? In most cases, the journalist working on the story has put in a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This is something that anyone can do. According to foia.gov,
“Enacted in 1966, and taking effect on July 5, 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.”
How does this work for 9-1-1?
Speaking with a Training Coordinator and 13 year 9-1-1 operator of a local dispatch center, she states that, “FOIA’s are the requests that dispatch can receive in writing from a person or attorney (in reference to) a case that was handled.” She goes on to say that 9-1-1 calls are involved in the process because the dispatch center answers the 9-1-1 or general calls that come into dispatch. Since 9-1-1 centers fall under local government they fit right into the Freedom of Information Act.
The FOIA process has been used many times to acquire calls and transcripts to make the public aware of incidents going on around them. For example, Charlie Butts of OneNewsNow.com reported on, “a pro-life activist group (that) confirmed a 17th medical emergency in less than a year at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.” This incident occurred in Indianapolis and Butts spoke to Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger, who told him that her organization was able to obtain transcripts of the 9-1-1 call through the Freedom of Information Act.
Butts of OneNewsNow.com reported on Sullenger as saying that, “Apparently in this particular abortion, a woman was involved in a second-trimester abortion in her 14th week of pregnancy,” she details. “And for some reason, the abortionist could not finish the procedure. She had to stop in the middle and call for help.” OneNewsNow.com reported further on what was revealed through the transcripts and 9-1-1 recording by quoting Sullenger as saying, “It appears that the caller, the employee at Planned Parenthood who called 9-1-1, was extremely evasive, did not want to give information,” Sullenger reports. “The dispatcher had to ask four different times what was wrong with the woman and why she needed an ambulance. — this actually delays emergency care, and the emergency responders cannot be prepared for what they’re going to find there.”
Can anything be obtained from a FOIA request?
In the example above, the person who submitted the FOIA request was able to get everything she needed, but not everything can be revealed through a FOIA request. Some items can be redacted from the file. A quick definition from Merriam-Webster defines redact as, “to obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release.” The training coordinator says that, “items that can be redacted are the callers name, information, and Lein.” Lein in this statement refers to the callers name, address, and warrant check, license check, etc. “If a case is still open or pending investigation,“ says the training coordinator, “it is not FOIA’able until that case is closed by the agency.”
Being able to FOIA a record has done more than just release 9-1-1 calls. Below is an infographic on what being able to FOIA a record has done for us in the 46 years of its existence. For more information on 9-1-1 recordings, public records and the FOIA process for your state; you can go to the First Amendment Center. The site is a “compilation of state statutes and bills concerning public release of 911 emergency telephone recordings and transcripts.” If there is nothing listed for your state, you can also check out FOIA Advocates. This site can direct you to the public record laws of each state.Post Views: 195
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Have you ever brought up the topic of old technology with your kids or kids in general? If you ever get the chance I highly recommend it. Their concept of time and the shock and awe of how it used to be is amazing! My 7 year old is under the impression that I’m from the stone age or something. For example, we had a conversation about the shows I watched as a kid and he blew me away with his idea of how old I was.
“Yeah buddy, I used to watch the same show when I was a kid but now a few things have changed on Dragon Ball Z.”
“Ohhh, well back then was when TV’s were small and in black and white right?”
“Uhh…how old do you think I am?”
“I don’t know…old I guess.”
Yeah…so he thinks I’m pretty old. I’ve talked to him about old school tech and it’s funny to see the reaction on his face. First off I showed him a picture of an old rotary telephone.
“You tell me what you think it is Buddy.”
“Well…it looks like a telephone or something.”
“You’re right. Now how do you think you would use it?”
“Well…I guess I would use the numbers somehow.”
I had to chuckle over his slight confusion but he did get the concept of it. I also told him how much of a pain it was if someone had a 9 or 0 in their phone number. Do you remember that? It’s funny to think that a lot of what we used to have growing up is something that our kids would have no idea how to use it. A good example comes from my wife and our son. Now, this example does not deal with technology but falls under the same idea of old vs. new. Since Logan was born we have always used hand soap in a bottle with a pump. One day we happened to run out of the normal soap we use in the bathroom. A temporary fix was to bust out a bar of soap until we could get to the store and buy more. Logan had gone into the bathroom to wash his hands and after what I can imagine was complete confusion and odd looks into the mirror, he emerged from the bathroom with the bar of soap and asked,
“Um…how do I use this?”
I laughed my butt off when Rebecca told me about this and Logan was dead serious about the bar of soap. I mean, he’s schooled now but man that’s funny! So let’s think back at some of the stuff we had growing up. Let’s step into the DeLorean, after adding the needed fuel of course, back up on the road for room and punch it! Once we hit 88.8 mph we’re headed back to the future. I think it would be pretty cool if we could but for now, we’ll simply time travel through our memories. So what’s first? Well for me, I think about the Sony Walkman, which I added a picture of in this post. At one time this portable cassette player was a hot item. If you had this player you were the stuff!
Also I mentioned earlier that my son thought TV’s were in black and white when I was growing but I was born in ’81. The TV’s I remember were huge, heavy, and included knobs with UHF, VHF, and something to control how much snow there was in the picture. I believe the TV we had was a bulky Zenith. We also had a Sony Betamax that included the movie camera which was rather large! Do any of you remember what the last thing was before local TV stations signed off around 2am or so? If you happen to remember, make sure to comment on here. Now, I could go on and on about what I had that my kids have no clue about but what are things you remember? Other items could include, floppy disks, Polaroid Camera’s with the 4 bulb flash that was sold separately, rotary phones, three switch cable boxes, typewriters, 45’s, and…well there’s so much more but I’m drawing a blank now. So here’s where you come in. What do you remember from your childhood that your kids or the kids of today would have no clue how to use?Post Views: 620