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By Ricardo — 9 months ago
“To walk among heroes”
Guest blog post –
Written by –
Billy Short – Technical Trainer with RPSS
It was the last class of my training assignment for a PSAP in Louisiana. The training part of my class was over, so I broke into my post class “appreciation speech.” Since becoming a technical trainer for 911 dispatchers, my eyes had been opened to things that I guess, I had always taken for granted. I shared with the class how that I, as a citizen, truly appreciated the work that dispatchers perform. I had come to realize that most dispatchers were never truly recognized, or honestly appreciated for their work. I shared with them how that I had come to believe that they were the “first”, first responders. I had witnessed many community organizations and churches having appreciation events for other First Responder heroes, but I noticed that the members of the dispatch teams were never given a seat at that table of honor.
I shared how that now, I somewhat understood the roller coaster of emotion that a 911 calltaker could be on, simply by answering the next ringing telephone. I knew that one minute they would be able to feel their blood pressure rise in aggravation to a caller wondering when the electrical power would be restored to their neighborhood, or a caller wanting the phone number to the local tax office. To answering the next call and experiencing the desperate cries of a mother that had just pulled the lifeless body of her toddler from a swimming pool. I shared with the class my appreciation for their professionalism when taking a call from someone who just seemed to be having a difficult day, and needing to complain to someone, to the next call from someone that is having the absolute worse day of their life because their mate of 52 years was lying in the floor unresponsive.
I thanked them for doing the often-thankless job of giving CPR instructions over the phone until EMS arrived at the scene. I thanked them for trying to comfort a scared child, who left alone in the house, hears a scary noise outside. I tried my best to express my love, admiration, and appreciation for the job that they do, day in, day out, around the clock, and through the holidays. I also extended to them my friendship. Even though it would probably be limited to social media, or text messaging. I told them that if they ever needed someone to listen, someone to pray for them, someone to talk to, that I would be willing to be that guy.
I ended my speech with another, heart-felt “Thank You!” After the group began to file out of the room, one guy, kind of hung back a little. I could tell that my “speech” was having some sort of emotional effect on him. When the room emptied, this hulk of a dispatcher walked up to me, with tears now beginning to roll down his face, he asked if he could give me a hug. Of course, I obliged, and bear hugged him right back. With a soft voice he began to thank me. He simply stated that the job had begun to get to him, and that he didn’t know if he could keep going on. But that my speech had reminded him that it wasn’t a job that he performed. It was his calling! He told me that he was fired up and ready to get back out onto the floor and be the professional, the call-taker, the first responder that he was called to be. By this time, tears were in my eyes. I thanked him for sharing part of his story with me. And I thanked God for the little part that I had played in this First Responder Hero’s life calling!
Through social media, I found out a few months after that day, that my dispatcher friend had gotten off work, went home, went to sleep, and never woke up again. I felt the tears coming again! That scene at the door of the training room played back over in my mind. I felt an unexplainable sense of loss. That may sound strange. I had only spent a few hours in a training class with him. I never knew his life story. I never knew his family. I never knew his favorite food or color. But in his death, I knew that the world had lost a hero. To some, he was just a voice on the other end of a phone line. To some, he was just somebody that answered phones for a living. For some, he was just an operator that would give out a phone number. But I can’t help but believe that there were countless people whose lives had been saved, broken hearts comforted, and fears calmed, by this straw haired colored man. I believe that there were firefighters and police officers, that were made heroes of situations because this dispatcher sent them on their way. I believe that the world was a better place, and a safer place because of a that faceless voice on the other end of a mic, or telephone. And I believe that a dispatch team, lost a brother, that could never quite be replaced. And to me, I am reminded that my job is more than a job. It is a calling. A calling to walk among heroes! A calling to play my part in the training of giants! I want to be the best trainer that I can be, so that heroes and giants can be the best dispatcher that they can be!Post Views: 1,223
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
On the heels of the post on my scary ass house, I thought I would share some stories from my childhood. I see them as interesting now but as a kid they scared the crap out of me…ok, they still scare me. During the time I lived in Fennville both of my grandmothers lived with my family. I loved having them there because of their love, warmth…and their stories. What interested me the most about them was the fact that they were both Curandera’s or Folk Doctor’s. I didn’t get to see a lot of what my fathers mom did but my moms mom performed stuff that I cannot explain. I remember families would bring their children to see my grandmother every now and then. The kid would be screaming and acting out. There would be a high fever and my grandmother would take them into the room and after a while they would come back and the kid would be fine. I always wanted to know what went on in her room and when I got older I finally got my chance.
A family had come over with a little boy who was completely out of it. He was running a fever and crying uncontrollably. My grandmother brought me into the room with her and the child. I was excited to finally see her in action but I was also scared. She laid the kid down on the bed and pulled out a cross made out of palm leaves and she had an egg. I watched as she did the sign of the cross over the child and said a prayer. After several minutes of this the child calmed down and then stopped crying all together. His fever had vanished and my grandmother took the egg, cracked it, and emptied it into a bowl she had near by. She then broke toothpicks in half and made crosses out of them. She placed them onto the egg and I shit you not, the egg began to fry. I can’t explain it and I don’t remember her exact explanation but she said that whatever it was that was bothering the child was transferred to the egg and cooked out. Now I know this sounds weird but it did happen and if you ask any Mexican family they probably have similar stories.
Along with this, there were stories that my grandmother used to tell my siblings and I growing up. They are stories that have been past down and they were probably told so that we could behave because we used to get rowdy around our grandmother. Whatever the reason, it did the trick. One story that has stayed with me is the story of La Llorona or The Crying Women. Grandma used to tell us that if we did not behave that La Llorona was going to come out and get us at night. I didn’t know the entire story when I was younger, but it sounded scary as hell. I mean, The Crying Woman? Hearing someone crying in the dark and seeing no one in the immediate area is creepy! So the story goes that a beautiful women named Maria killed her children by drowning them to be with the man she loved and in the end rejected her. It’s possible that the man was the father of her children but had left her for another women. Maria was devastated by the rejection of her man and killed herself. At the gates of heaven Maria was asked where her children were. Maria replied that she did not know and was told that she could not pass through the gates of heaven without her children. She now wanders the Earth for all eternity, searching for her drowned children. Her constant weeping is how she received her name. It has been said that she will kidnap wandering children or children who disobey their parents. People have claimed to see her at night or in the late evening searching around rivers, lakes, and oceans.
It’s pretty creepy if you think about it. There are more stories but this one is the one I remember most. What my grandmother did for families was unbelievable but it happened and it worked. The next time you are out on the river or wandering close to a lake, listen for the weeps. It’s possible to hear it during the day but at night is when the show happens. If it’s night time watch out for her and listen but be careful because La Llorona might just kidnap you.Post Views: 222
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
For the past 45 minutes my family and I have been watching intro’s to the Saturday morning cartoons I watched when I was growing up. I think my wife was the first one to talk about the Gummi Bears and we went from there. We sang what we could remember from the theme song and then I went to YouTube to find the intro. After watching it and seeing the look on my 7 year olds face I had to play more. I felt like a little kid again watching these intro’s and it took me back. I remember waking up early as all hell with my little brother, before my sisters were born of course, and getting a box of cereal and a gallon of milk and turning on the tube to watch some cartoons. I remember we would destroy the box of Honey Combs, Pacman, Captain Crunch or Smurf cereal and almost the entire gallon of milk. If we didn’t want cereal we would snag a box of honey grahams or Oreo’s and we were set for the morning. Did my parents care? Hell no! They got to sleep in and now that I’m a parent I understand that sleep is a lot better. This is especially true now because the Saturday morning cartoons blow!
I have been up a few times and watched cartoons with my boy and it’s not the same. They have revamped Sonic the Hedgehog and the bad guy who looks exactly like Dr. Robotnik is actually named Dr. Eggman. At first I was baffled and told Logan this was not Dr. Eggman, it was Robotnik and a few weeks later he schooled me on it.
“Hey dad, you remember Dr. Eggman?”
“Umm…you mean Robotnik?”
“Uh…yeah well it’s not Robotnik. You want to know why?”
“Sure buddy, tell me what you know.”
“Well, last week on the show they said that Robotnik is Eggman’s grandfather. So…”
Yep! That’s right, I got schooled by my kid. It’s all good though, at least he knows about Robotnik…umm let’s move on shall we. They also have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but they’re many many years into the future and it’s just odd. Dragon Ball Z is still cool but everything else blows! Bring back The Gummi Bears, Shirt Tales, Ducktales, Darkwing Duck, Talespin, The Wuzzles, Snorks, Muppet Babies, Heathcliff, and all the other badass cartoons that I had growing up. Bring back the early Nickelodeon which was actually Pinwheel. After morning cartoons on Saturday it was on to Pinwheel where one could watch Mr. Wizard and You Can’t Do That On Television. Then when I got a little older and Pinwheel turned into Nickelodeon we had Snick on Saturday nights where one could watch “Are You Afraid of The Dark?”
I could go on and on and on but there are way too many to mention here. If I did I would have to dip into the Disney Channel with Kids Incorporated and Good Morning Ms. Bliss, which turned into an NBC hit and renamed “Saved By The Bell”. Anyway, I just wanted to write about this since we spent so much time looking at video’s on all these cartoons. We had the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons and now our kids have crap. I believe there is a channel called Boomerang that has all the old shows but it’s not the same. If anyone can remember any other cartoons let me know! Cheers!Post Views: 4,293