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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By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Office Space, “A comedic tale of company workers who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss,” says IMDb.com. The movie is a classic but let’s look at one portion of the synopsis, “company workers who hate their jobs.” The characters in the movie indeed hate their jobs but what if deep down they hated it because they knew that is was slowly killing them? Interesting is it not? The characters are portrayed as stressed out, crazed, and manic yet it’s done with a sense of humor. All jokes aside, my career behind a desk has spanned over 13 years and the stress is real. There are many health risks that come from sitting for long hours but you don’t have to take my word for it.
Could sitting at my desk job be killing me softly?
According to CNN on a feature for Health.com, “Studies suggest that sitting for hours on end is harmful, regardless of a person’s overall calorie intake or physical activity.” How much more harmful can it be to our bodies? We’re just sitting there, right? In no way are we lifting anything heavy so what could go wrong? Within the same article featured on CNN,
“extended daily TV watching and time on the computer–which, like desk jobs, involve long periods of time sitting still–have been linked to a greater risk of metabolic syndrome, a constellation of health problems that can lead to diabetes and heart disease.”
The studies linking desk jobs or sitting for that matter and health problems are staggering. MSNBC featured an article by Men’s Health saying, “A 2006 University of Minnesota study found that from 1980 to 2000, the percentage of people who reported exercising regularly remained the same—but the amount of time people spent sitting rose by 8 percent.” So it appears that people are exercising but it doesn’t do a lot of good if we continue to sit on our rears. Now if that wasn’t enough, sitting for long periods can also affect our posture.
“For instance, if you spend a lot of time with your shoulders and upper back slumped over a keyboard, this eventually becomes your normal posture,” says Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S., a Men’s Health advisor and physical therapist in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hartman continued to say, “That’s not just an issue in terms of how you look; it frequently leads to chronic neck and shoulder pain,”
Still want a cozy desk job? A desk job may seem like the way to go but if you fall into the land of inactivity then you may experience some health issues. Below is an infographic featured on Mashable.com, which shows the risks and what can be done to combat them.Post Views: 100
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
When you work somewhere for a long time it eventually feels like a second home. You build friendships, you laugh, you share stories and you bond. Hours and hours are spent with co-workers. So much time is spent with them that they become your second family. Everyone has his or her work family. This post is about mine. If you don’t already know from previous posts, I work as a 9-1-1 supervisor. What that means is that I not only do the duties of a 9-1-1 operator but I also oversee an entire team.
In the seven years that I have worked in dispatch I have bonded with my co-workers. We have become very close. This is also true for the rest of my work family. They include the county deputies, city officers, state troopers, EMS, and Fire. My work family is rather unique as you can tell. We have been through a lot together and some incidents can never be understood unless you speak to someone who is within our family. I know it seems odd to say that. You’re probably thinking, “Why wouldn’t anyone else understand?” Well, let’s look at a call I took in the past.
One of the worst calls I have ever taken dealt with an infant. Now, I have taken many calls involving infants but this one will stay with me for the rest of my life. I can’t go into a lot of detail but I had to give CPR instructions to a frantic mother whose infant was blue and not breathing. It was horrifying to hear her struggle through this. In the end the baby died. My Sgt. came up to ask if I was ok but all I wanted to know was what exactly happened. It may seem weird to know this but as dispatchers we don’t always know the end result or why. We go to the next call as soon as it comes in and the closure is lost. We ultimately need that closure. I have shared this story with those outside my profession and most people want to bypass it. It’s sometimes hard to talk to others but I suppose it’s like that in any profession. You simply want to speak to someone you work with and one who knows what you’re going through.
When you bond with your work family you are bound to feel for them the way you feel for your immediate family. If one of your own is hurt you will most likely feel their pain. When you lose someone from your work family it can be devastating. About a week ago or so one of our Sgt.’s passed away unexpectedly. It was a shock to our entire county. When something like this happens you quickly realize how strong of a bond you have with your work family. I can’t even begin to explain the emotions of everyone involved but we all came together to be there for his immediate family and to say farewell to our brother.
The funeral was something I have never experienced before. Sure, I have been to many funerals but this one involved law enforcement. I have never heard the sounds of bagpipes being played to honor the fallen and I have never heard an officers “last call”. Now, I don’t feel comfortable going into detail on what the “last call” entails but know that it brought my entire work family, including myself, to tears. It was hard to listen and what made me cry even more was hearing the emotions of everyone else. Just the sight of the officers that have always shown me zero emotion were shedding tears yet trying there hardest to fight them back. Afterward we walked over to where all the officers were standing and we hugged. There were no handshakes; there were only hugs and tears. It was in that moment that I realized how strong my bond was with my work family. See, it doesn’t matter where you work it’s the bonds you build while working there. My work family deals with the lives of others and we do everything we can to help keep the public safe. It may not always be appreciated but we do our jobs and we do it well. Our work families may be different but the point is the same. It’s all about the bonds we build. Thank you to everyone I work with for being the best damn work family anyone could have. Thank you to Sgt. Scott Tatrow for your years of service and the laughter and joy you brought to our work family as well as the public. May god bless your family and may you rest in peace.Post Views: 165
By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Hello everyone! Whitney and I are back again this week with episode 13 of Within the Trenches. A few episodes back we spoke with Cheryl of Yakima, Washington and she was not only a dispatcher but she is part of her centers critical incident stress management (CISM) team. It was an interesting and informative show and since it went so well, we wanted to bring this week’s guest on to add to the topic of CISM. This week we spoke with Matt, operations manager of the communications center in Kent County. It’s one of our larger areas in western Michigan and he reflected on one of his first emergencies while attending an explorers program as a teenager with a local fire department. He also touched on the importance of CISM and we spoke briefly on a call he helped us out with when we were dealing with a loss of our own.
A big thanks goes out to Kent County for allowing us the opportunity to have Matt on the show and to Matt; thank you for everything you do! It’s appreciated more than you know. As always you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can click the black contact button on the left of this page. Thanks and make sure to listen, share and comment!Post Views: 141