Good afternoon! This episode is sponsored by NENA and INdigital. I am currently in Nashville, TN for the 2014 National NENA Conference and this is just one of a series of episodes I’m recording here. In this episode I spoke with Dana, a dispatcher with Sumpter County Sheriff’s Office out of Florida and a Friends of 911 Scholarship winner. This is a must listen for anyone looking for information on not only the conference but how to apply for next years Friends of 9-1-1 scholarship. We also spoke briefly on the Mini-C that Dana attended back in April and the hard work that Tom of the Cool Kids of 9-1-1 puts into the conference.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to be a guest on the show, send an email to email@example.com.
Episode topics –
Dana recap of the Mini-C
Friends of 9-1-1 Scholarship Process
Where Dana sees herself in 9-1-1
Drunk dial 9-1-1 tape (Thanks Justin!)
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By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Good afternoon and welcome back to another episode of Within the Trenches. This is going to be the second and final episode recorded during the 9114911 conference held at the Naperville, Illinois Marriott. In this episode I got the chance to speak to Kelly, CEO of Success Communications Inc. She shared her vision of this one of a kind motivational conference geared towards the most important part of the 9-1-1 world, the true first first responders, the dispatchers. It was an excellent time and the first conference where I truly felt inspired to do more in the 9-1-1 community.
This episode is a must listen so check it out and share it. As always if you have any questions or would like to be on the show you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
9114911 Conference – Web
Episode topics –
Post Views: 421
- Kelly’s vision
- Preparation for next year
By Ricardo — 8 years ago
I have always said that, “in the moment of crisis, we are the voice of authority.” It’s something that I firmly believe. We as dispatchers are your link to the help you need. We do our best with every call because that’s what we do. We get the job done and send help where help is needed. When our caller is overwhelmed with panic and fear we are there to calm them down. It’s not an easy job and it amazes me how some people can think that we are merely drones with no emotion. I can tell you from personal experience that this is far from true. The job itself is easy to learn but it’s the emotional stress that can take a toll on you.
Let’s start with a scenario. You wake up on a beautiful spring morning. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you have the whole day ahead of you. You look over at your spouse and your heart drops. What you see before you has taken your breath way and your heart is racing. You panic and begin to shake your spouse…he doesn’t move. You want to cry but you can’t. You begin to sweat and in your moment of shock and panic you run next door to ask your neighbor for help. This can’t be happening. Not today, not for a long time you think, but it is happening. You lay next to your lifeless spouse as your neighbor calls 911. It’s horrifying, is it not? This is a call I took a few years ago. I spoke to the neighbor and all I could hear in the background was a female yelling for her husband. I remained calm and did my job but inside I was dying.
“Don’t leave me! Please, not now…we had so much time left together!”
I’ve heard shouting like this many times. I have felt my callers pain and I think what makes it hard is that there is no closure. When we take 911 calls we try to deal with them one at a time but sometimes it gets so busy that we have to go back and forth between them. Once the call is over and help has arrived we go right to the next one. Sometimes the only way we find out the outcome is when someone calls for the medical examiner. I mean, if we ever get the chance we’ll find out some information but otherwise we’re in the dark and it makes it hard. I’ve listened to more death than you can imagine. I have heard those taking their last breaths, and I have heard families grieving for their loved ones. One can develop thick skin but it doesn’t always work. After listening to the screams of those in need and those in mourning it definitely starts to penetrate the defenses of ones emotions.
I remember when I worked in Florida many years ago. It was my first night alone and I was chatting with the Chief before he headed home. As he left the door swung open. A lady ran in crying and screaming. I could barely make out what she was saying. The Chief and an officer left to a near by residence and the lady remained in the lobby sobbing. She had just come from her residence where she found her husband. She had recently left him but decided to go patch things up. She wanted to be with him again but instead she found his suicide note. This is how my dispatching career began. I remember how surreal the moment was. I remember how I felt for this woman who had just found her husband dead. I wanted to go over and hug her as she cried for him but I couldn’t. I had a job to do and I remained in my seat. For the rest of my time in Florida, I believe that was the worst call I ever experienced. It wasn’t until my current job that I dealt with it more frequently.
There is nothing worse than listening to someone die. Those last gasping breaths can haunt you. The calls that get me the most have to do with giving CPR instructions. I was once told that if you’re giving CPR instructions the person has a 5% chance of coming back. Every call I have taken, I hope and pray that the person falls within that 5%. It doesn’t always happen that way though. There is no consistent happy ending but the majority of the time there are other factors to ones death that CPR cannot fix. It’s a hard job but this is what my co-workers and I do. I could go on and on with the scary parts of my job but I will stop for now. There is a lot more that I have dealt with but this is just another glimpse into dispatch. The emotions flow within us like any other person but we hold back in order to do the best job imaginable. Would you ask for anything less?Post Views: 506
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Last week Wednesday was the start of the most pain I have felt in a very long time. The day actually began rather well. I went into dispatch to do some offline work and then I attended a business meeting that turned out to be pretty big for my new company, Martinez Design Concepts LLC. I was pretty stoked at the turn out and the connections I made.
On my way home one of my teeth on the bottom right side started to hurt. It wasn’t too bad and of course, everyone has gone through a minor toothache so I didn’t think much of it. On Thursday my tooth continued to hurt but I went into work and continued taking Tylenol like Skittles. The pain kept coming and going and I was brushing like mad and rinsing as much as I could.
When Friday morning came around, I decided to call my dentist to see me for a possible abscessed tooth. I went in and sure enough it was an abscess and I needed an emergency root canal. I was relieved that we would be able to take care of it on that day but no one was available to do it. An appointment was made for the following Thursday and I was sent on my way with prescriptions for Penicillin and some Tylenol 3’s. The pain persisted throughout the day and got worse. I went to work and while I was there I noticed that the bottom right side of my face began to swell. Around midnight or so I could no longer take the pain and rushed to the nearest E.R.
Once I got there I noticed the funny looks from those who saw or spoke to me. I realized that my swelling was more obvious than before. When the doctor came in to see me she began pressing against my face. It hurt like you wouldn’t believe. I laid back and she looked in and began pressing and pushing against my gums and that hurt even more. She was looking for a pocket of some sort to drain from but couldn’t find a good enough spot.
Once again I was sent home with an anti-biotic and some painkillers but one of them I was able to get before I left the E.R. Now, when the doc told me that she could give me a shot of something, I thought she just meant a dose, in pill form. Nope! This was literally a shot and one that was to go in my rear! The nurse walks in and says,
“Ok, I have your prescriptions ready and now for the painkiller.”
I was surprised to see the shot in her hand so I began to roll up my sleeve.
“No, no. Um…this goes in your rear. Here’s a blanket so you can pull everything down.”
I was immediately embarrassed that I had to drop everything and she leaves so that I can do so. I unzip, drop and sit on the bed. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that she needed everything down. She opens the door and looks at me and says,
“Um…you still have your underwear on right?”
“No, you said everything down.”
“Oh…well that’s not what I meant. Pull everything back up.”
I laughed inside and thought, “I knew she only needed one cheek!”
She comes in, tells me to lie on the bed, I supply one cheek and she hits me with the shot. It hurt like hell but it took the pain away. Sheesh…how embarrassing it was. I’m sure when she first opened the door I looked like I was ready to take a dump on the bed seeing how everything was down. Argh!
From there I went back to work but went home early. The next morning my face had swelled up to the picture included in this post. The pain was unbearable but luckily a friend of mine suggested a dentist office that works over the weekend. Between Saturday and today, I have been to that dentist trying to get the swelling down. Today I felt pain I have never experienced before. It wasn’t childbirth but it might as well have been. Since the swelling was taking longer to go down, they decided to cut me open in order to drain what was inside. They numbed me up with three shots to the gums. It worked rather well but I could partially feel what they were doing. They used three different scalpels during this procedure. I felt when they hit pockets of infection and what made it worse was hearing the scalpel cut through the tissue. Imagine cutting up ribs or better yet, the cartilage part of chicken. That’s what it sounded like. During the procedure they even hit me with another shot before taking a break and I could feel the needle go into the wound.
After that I couldn’t feel a thing. Thank God for that because I was breathing so hard from what I was feeling earlier that I probably would’ve passed out. The incisions remain open to drain but since they are superficial wounds, the dentist said that they would heal over within six hours. Now I’m home and typing up this post. Never have I been through so much pain. Having to be cut open blew but if it’s going to help out my situation then I’m all about it. I still haven’t had my root canal but it’s only because of all this other crap that happened. It has to heal for a couple weeks before they can do it and the swelling might stay for a month or so. It all sucks but I’m hanging in there. So really, the moral of this story is,
TAKE CARE OF YOUR STUPID TEETH OR LEARN THE HARD WAY!Post Views: 647