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By Ricardo — 3 years agoThe following is in direct response to the Facebook comments of the policeone.com article “Should dispatchers be officially classified as first responders?” written by Melissa Mann. The article itself is great but there are some people who think we should not be reclassified or that we are not “in the shit” like the public safety personnel who are on scene.“I am NOT a first responder”Written by: Daphanie Bailes – Within the Trenches Admin, In Between the Chaos columnist for IAED & Senior Telecommunicator and Communications Training Coordinator for Martin County Fire RescueI’m not a first responder, that’s what lots of people say. How can you be a first responder, you just sit in a room. I would like to invite those who feel that way, to step into my world. The world of the faceless, the nameless. The world where I am only known by the sound of my voice. A voice that can portray everything from love to loathing. A voice that can give me away if I dwell on the fight at home, the fourth nastygram email of the day, the last bad 911 call or anything else that can affect my emotions. A world where I juggle the feelings associated with multiple calls, all at once. A world where I very rarely hear “Thank you” or “I want to do that when I grow up”. My world encompasses so much more than those four walls or my own voice. It is the voice of every caller or administrator on the phone, every firefighter and paramedic or EMT on the radio. It also includes the voices that don’t go away when I hang up the phone or walk out the door or try to close my eyes.I know I wasn’t the first person to put my boots on the ground but my voice was the first you heard. I broke thru language barriers to keep you safe. I instructed your loved one to give you lifesaving breaths until help could arrive. I told you to hide and kept you calm while evil walked past your closet door. I heard your wife’s screams when she realized you were beyond help. I talked to you and distracted you long enough for help to get there and take the gun from your hand. I used every resource available so we could find you when you rolled your car off the highway. I was with you when you took your last breaths. I felt your frustration and fear when the water was just too rough for you to help her. I reassured you when you begged for the minutes to disappear and for the ambulance to arrive. I shouldered your obscenities and continued to be your calm when you found your overdosed son. I prayed that you were at peace after you finally stopped the voices in your head. I told you to sing to your sweetheart, to calm him, to drown out the rest of the noise while we waited for EMS and Fire to find your mangled truck. I was the first to hear your tiny but strong cries after you made your grand entrance into this world and silently cried tears of joy with your family.I prayed when I heard your ‘Mayday’ call. I prayed because you are my brother or sister and when you hurt, I hurt. I train and learn every day, beyond what is required, because I am the one and only person who is not allowed to be caught off guard and not know what to do. So many lives desperately depend on me to know what to do or who to call and to make it happen in the blink of an eye.In a way, those people are correct. I’m not a first responder by the purest definition. I am a highly trained Public Safety Telecommunicator. I am THE FIRST RESPONDER. I am the first to respond to that emergency with life-saving instructions. I am the first to alert law enforcement, fire and medical personnel to the cries for help. I am the first to hear and feel heartache and joy from people I will never know. I am the first to comfort those souls in need. And I will be the first to invite you into these four walls and experience my world. Not because I want a pat on the back or have grandiose feelings of superiority, but because I want you to understand it.Post Views: 441
By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Good afternoon and this is episode 47 of Within the Trenches. It has been a couple of weeks since the last episode and I couldn’t wait any longer so I decided to record an episode. I wanted to keep it light so I pulled some 9-1-1 calls from YouTube. I pulled a couple from a channel that belongs to AmericanPride1234 and they are awesome! If you get the chance make sure to check out the channel and subscribe. I have been pretty busy with work lately and one of the weeks I was on the road I got very sick. I made sure to share the story so I hope you enjoy it.
There are more new episodes coming up so stay tuned! As always you can email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode topics –
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- Stomach bug on the road
- 9-1-1 tapes –
- Kid calls 911 for help with math
- Guy calls 911 for pot question
- Guy gets junk stuck in pump
- Joe vs. Deer 911 call
By Ricardo — 5 years ago
During the week of 12/13/2012 I was sketching in a notebook. I had a lot going on during that time. I was well into my Masters program, studying, working in dispatch and trying my hardest to be a good father and husband. As I continued to sketch I began to reflect on a new project I was working on. The project was a new podcast named after a written segment on my blog. I was nervous about launching my Kickstarter campaign. What if I couldn’t make my goal? What if it was only something I thought was a good idea? I continued to sketch and think. My co-worker Whitney walked into the room I was in and I asked her what she thought.
“I like it but the symbol makes it look like angry eyebrows.”
She handed me some reports I had printed out and we both laughed as she walked back out of the room. I stared at my sketch for a while. Finally, I added “9-1-1” to the upper right part of the vital sign. I called Whitney again and she told me that it looked good. The sketch was the logo for Within the Trenches. Although I was nervous as hell I was determined to make this project a reality. A few days after completing the logo I launched my Kickstarter campaign on 12/13/2012.
I went through a lot during that time. Planning a campaign is no easy task and promoting it is even bigger than the planning stage. Once it’s out there you have to make sure it remains in the public eye without spamming. The campaign started out strong but hit a snag. With 8 days left I had only reached $330 of the $1,500 needed to fund my campaign. I continued to promote and on January 3 2013 episode one of the podcast was broadcast live on Ustream. The episode was a hit! More pledges came in and with 36 hours left in the campaign I had received $660. I was scared. I felt like I wasn’t going to make it.
With those 36 hours left I sent an email to Gary Allen of Dispatch Monthly. I told him I wasn’t looking for money, just help with spreading the word. He helped me out and in 24 of the 36 hours left in the campaign I surpassed my goal. I remember sitting in the living room with my daughter Lola as she ate lunch. I kept refreshing the page to see if I had made it. I received a text message from my good friend and co-worker Trista that read,
“I just bought a shirt. Congrats!”
After a huge pledge from my now employer, the shirt pledge/reward was worth $25 and that was all I needed to hit the goal. I refreshed one last time and sure enough Trista’s pledge put me over. I jumped in the air with my arms up and yelled, “Woo!” as I hit the ceiling. Lola threw her arms up as well and laughed. I went to work a few hours after that for the second episode of the show and I was greeted by my co-workers with a grand applause. I was smiling from ear to ear and I remember trying to hold back my emotions because I wanted to cry from being so happy. That moment of triumph was great!
It’s been just over a year since I launched my Kickstarter campaign. 2013 was a big year for me. The show blew up and continues to grow. I spoke at Michigan’s NENA conference, made an appearance at the Mini-C conference in Boca Raton, Florida, brought the show to NENA’s National conference, recorded a part in a documentary that features hotlines and call takers in all types of jobs, recorded a segment for A&E’s Panic 9-1-1 and landed an amazing job working on the other side of 9-1-1.
Between Whitney and I, we have interviewed dispatchers from all over the United States and areas such as Australia, Canada and Ireland. It’s been an amazing year and I know that 2014 will be even bigger. I’m grateful for the support and continued support you have given me throughout this adventure. It means a lot to me. The show will continue to tell dispatch stories from those who have lived them. We are also going to educate the emergency services community as well as the public. With Google+ Hangouts serving as an open forum of 9-1-1 professionals we are going to grow and expand.
If you take anything from my experience this last year it is this, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” Thanks Doc Brown. Your words have always stuck with me. Well…you’re a character in Back to the Future and I love the movie so…well anyway, the quote is true. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! Just grit your teeth and work hard for what you want. I’m living proof. Hmm…I think I just wrote the last page of my book. Anyway, here’s to a new year, cheers!
(Make sure to comment below and if you want to be on the show email us at email@example.com)Post Views: 206