Welcome back folks! This is episode 89 of Within the Trenches. In this episode I got to speak with guest regular Rob McMullen, director of Vigo County 911 out of Indiana and current North Central Region Director of NENA. We chat and listen to 9-1-1 calls including one on the late great American Dream Dusty Rhodes. We also share some information on our upcoming class at the National NENA Conference in Denver next week. It’s called, “A Day In The Life of Text to 9-1-1.” You don’t want to miss it! If you are going to be there, make sure to look for us on Tuesday around 4 p.m.
Also make sure to check out our sponsor Agency360! Their customizable web-based field training software supports the CTO program and the on boarding of new dispatchers across the country to improve consistency, access, and efficiency in documenting their training. For more click on their image below.
Episode topics –
- 9-1-1 tapes
- Dusty Rhodes
- “If they shoot you call us back with that information”
- News story of female faking a kidnapping over text
- And more
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By Ricardo — 2 years ago
For over 13 years I answered the call of those who needed help. I have listened to couples yell and swear at each other over the phone while their kids cried in the background, the heavy breathes of someone terrified that they will be found while hiding from an intruder and the sound of mourning as a loved one has taken their last breath. I have also listened to a frantic father as his wife gave birth to their child, the tears of joy as the Heimlich instructions I gave helped a mother dislodge hard candy from her child’s throat, and the feeling of satisfaction from talking down a suicidal subject. I have also sat on the radio while an officer yelled out, “SHOTS FIRED, OFFICER HIT” while my team and I sat in horror, speechless and listening to voices to figure out who was shot. I’ve listened to an officer call for back up while out with a known felon and stared at the monitor in slow motion as backup made their way to assist their brother in blue. I have also cracked jokes with fellow dispatchers and officers during a shift on situations and topics that only we would understand.
I have taken every call that you can think of and worked almost every emergency situation and I survived. I have to thank my co-workers and all those in the field throughout Allegan County, MI for helping me. We worked like a well oiled machine and I will always be grateful to you. Throughout the years we shared our knowledge and triumphed on nights that felt like they would never end and were impossible to handle. It was through that shared knowledge that made us great. Towards the end of my dispatch career I took this idea of shared knowledge and decided to venture out. I attended my first NENA conference in 2012 not knowing what to expect. I was under the assumption that this would be one long week of classes where I would be bored out of my mind but I was wrong. I was hooked and grateful that I was given the opportunity to attend. A few years prior to the 2012 conference I hit the dispatch burn out stage. It was horrible. I was working an ungodly amount of overtime, I hardly saw my family and I was going to school full-time. I began working on a school project that lit my passion on fire and is the earliest version of the podcast I created, Within the Trenches. I also began to write about my experience in dispatch and after Michigan NENA my passion for 9-1-1 was on.
What solidified my passion at the conference was meeting people who did the same thing I did every day. I spoke to people who had taken similar calls and understood what it was like on the other side of the line. It’s something I can’t explain, you have to experience it. Now, some might say that their experience was dull and nothing like mine but my thought is that you have to put yourself out there. Jump out of your comfort zone and talk, learn and share your knowledge. The following year I had a popular blog where I shared my 9-1-1 experience and the beginning of my podcast. At the 2013 Michigan NENA conference I spoke for the first time about my dispatch story and the show. I also recorded a handful of episodes and from there I was jolted to the national conference in Charlotte, NC. I met so many people at the conference. I interviewed industry partners, dispatch directors and the unsung heroes of 9-1-1, dispatch. It was an amazing experience!
Recently, NENA and Friends of 911 started a scholarship that would send dispatchers to the national conference. I have been lucky enough to interview the dispatchers who were awarded the scholarship since the time it started. Later this month they will start up the registration process for the scholarship and it makes me wish I had had the opportunity to apply back when I was in dispatch but in the end I found my own way. Because of my experience with NENA, I want to create my own scholarship through the podcast. I have spoken to a few people within NENA to make this happen and they like the idea. This is not to take away from what they are doing, it is to add to what they are doing. With that said I am looking for sponsors to help make this happen. The scholarship will cover the conference registration, a one-day training course and a $500 travel stipend. The total value will be just under $2,000. Your sponsorship will get you advertising on the podcast as well as the blog and all of my social media outlets. The difference will be covered by merchandise sold through the podcast. Instructions on how dispatchers can register for this scholarship will be released in the next week. A link for two of the products are found below along with t-shirts coming soon. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can work together to sweeten the deal in return for your participation.
The Within the Trenches Podcast Scholarship is something I have thought about for a while and now I am going to make it a reality. Let’s help a 9-1-1 dispatcher out there attend this conference and experience something amazing. My ride started in Allegan and has continued through organizations like NENA and the company I work for, INdigital. I continue to do what I do because I believe everyone has a story to tell and by telling those stories we share knowledge.
Daughters of Dispatch – Nine One One Original 5X5 Vinyl Decal – Link
Sons of Dispatch – Nine One One Original 5X5 Vinyl Decal – LinkPost Views: 182
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Ah high school, the good ole days. I had the greatest time back then. Sometimes I wish I could go back but if I did I wouldn’t be able to drink a cold one with friends or go and do whatever I wanted. Actually that’s not completely true. I was able to do that back then as well but I had to hide it. I had my own car, a job, and I was kicking ass at school. Things were great but school started to get boring and I was only a freshman. I had a lot of my high school years left but I was itching to get out and be somewhat of a rebel. The opportunity came one day and I took it. I was going to skip school for the first time and it was perfect. I went with a group which included my cousins, Steve, Amanda, Mary Beth, and my girlfriend Meredith. We had planned on leaving just before lunch time so that we could drop off Mary Beth’s car at her home and then we would take Steve’s Avenger to Holland to see his girlfriend, eat, and return to school without anyone ever knowing we were gone. What could go wrong?
The time had come and we took off. The feeling was liberating and being bad felt superb! We dropped Mary Beth’s car off at her home and we were off. We listened to music at max volume and let the bass flow from Steve’s sound system. We laughed and joked about what we had done and we were the shit. Everything was going according to plan and we made our way to Holland High. We parked on the side of the school and waited for Steve’s girlfriend to come out. While waiting we listened to music and chilled. As we enjoyed our time the school’s Resource Officer walked up and asked what we were doing and what school we were from. So being the good kids that we were we told him the truth. We said we were from Saugatuck High School, but actually from Fennville, and gave our names. The Officer said he was going to make a phone call and for us to wait. As he rounded the corner we hauled ass. It was great but it was the beginning of our downfall.
It was time to find a place to eat lunch and head back to school. We had hit a speed bump with the officer but got away free and clear. We had come up to a four way stop and I remember telling Steve to slow down and he went right through it. Thank god there were no cars coming because we would have been done for. The good time was getting a little weird with the second speed bump in our adventure. We brushed it off and suggested Burger King for lunch but stubborn ass Steve wanted to go to McDonald’s. He was driving so we had no choice. We went to the McDonald’s on S. Washington in Holland, got our food, and sat down to eat. Despite the minor setbacks we were still kings and queens.
The line at the drive thru was getting long and we were getting ready to leave. We basked in our triumph and I glanced to the right. My smile disappeared and I went numb. What I saw almost made me pee my pants. In the drive-thru sat my mother and father. They were laughing and smiling and my father looked to the left and his smile disappeared and he squealed out of the line. I was screwed! I panicked and told everyone that my parents saw us and Mary Beth immediately told me to run and hide in the bathroom. I told her that there was no point since we had been already spotted and in came my mom. We told her that we had come up for lunch but she was pissed! She said that she was going to tell their parents and she took me away. It was a slow walk to the car where my father sat. I swear I could hear someone yelling, “Deadman walking” and they took me back to school. I sat there as my parents tore me a new asshole.
We got to the school and I apologized for what I had done. I walked up to the front doors and I noticed a second shadow next to me. I looked to the right and there was my dad. I asked what he was doing and I remember him saying, “I’m making sure your ass stays in school”. We walked in and he stopped as I passed the principals office.
“Where are you going?”
“Um…I’m going back to class dad.”
“No, get your ass back here.”
We went into the office and my father asked for Mr. Rummer. We were told to walk in and the door slammed behind me. I began to sweat and I was sure I was going to punish my pants with a frightened log.
“How can I help you Mr. Martinez?”
“Tell him what you did Rich.”
“Um…my parents caught me skipping. I’m sorry Mr. Rummer.”
“Oh, your a good kid Rich. I appreciate you telling me, just don’t do it again.”
“That’s all,” my dad asked.
“Uh…well…who was all with you Rich?”
I was put on the spot and I had to give up who was with me. In the end the principal gave all of us six hours of detention. If we had only gone to F’ing Burger King we might have made out like bandits but we were caught. I lost my Camaro for a month or so and it sucked. I could say that I learned my lesson but I would be lying. Let’s just say I was never caught again. It was good times and if I had to do it again I would do it in a heartbeat but our asses would go to F’ing BK!Post Views: 101
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
Communities around the U.S. have been dealing with the woes of financial problems for some time now. More and more are living in poverty and is a growing problem in Michigan. firststepskent.org reports on Kent County, located in West Michigan, that, “children living in poverty has increased every year of the last decade.”
Now let’s add the stress and worry of not being able to diaper your own child. This could be for the reasons of financial struggle or a shortage. According to nestlings.org, “there are no state or federal programs available to help low income families get diapers and wipes.” They also report that, “parents clean and re-use disposable diapers due to not having enough.”
Nestlings Diaper Bank, a non-profit organization and first in West Michigan, is taking a stand to help those in need. September 10-17 is Diaper Need Awareness Week and Jabber Log met with the co-founder of Nestlings, as well as a local volunteer to spotlight the growing issue of those struggling to afford the diapers needed for their children and how the public can help.
For more on Nestlings Diaper Bank click below –
[scroll down and click play for the interview]Post Views: 209