Episode 100! Man oh man I can’t believe it. It’s been one crazy ride and I wouldn’t change a thing. Welcome to Within the Trenches, a podcast based on the experience of being a 911 dispatcher. I have interviewed dispatchers from all over the United States including Ireland, Canada and Australia. I have also interviewed 911 leaders, directors and 911 pro companies and organizations such as the 911 Wellness Foundation, Dispatch Magazine Online, NENA, APCO, TERT, EENA, INdigital, Success Communications, Agency360, 911Trainer.com, Avaya, The Denise Amber Lee Foundation, Xybix, Smart911, The Cool Kids of 911 and more!
I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to interview and meet so many amazing people. It started as a school project and blew up from there. In this episode I go back and reflect on the beginning of my journey. I play clips from episodes 1, 6 and 12 and share all kinds of stories. I hope you enjoy them and I will post links to those episodes below. Don’t forget that you have until April 15th 2016 to apply for the Within the Trenches Continuing Education Scholarship. This is a great opportunity for you to attend a national conference so don’t miss out. Thank you to everyone who believed in me and this project. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I see this show doing so many things in the future so stay tuned. Here’s to 100 more episodes and beyond. Cheers!
Episode topics –
- The beginning of Within the Trenches
- Episode 1 – Web
- Episode 6 – Web
- Episode 12 – Web
- I’m Abscessed with You – Web
- Visit Dispatch Monkey – Web | Facebook | Twitter
Behind the Mic: Stories from the Trenches
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By Ricardo — 8 months ago
Ep 153 of Within the Trenches features Todd Sparrow, Director at Lawrenceburg 9-1-1 in Kentucky. In this episode Todd reflects on 35 years of public safety service, calls that have stuck with him, the Kentucky Emergency Services Conference and more. For more information on the conference please see the links below.
As always if you have any comments, questions or you would like to be a guest on the show please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episode topics –
Post Views: 138
- Todd’s 9-1-1 story
- A domestic call at 16 years of age
- Kentucky Emergency Services Conference
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
I try to stay away from politics as much as possible with my blog but when it comes to the Internet, I have to say something. I had seen this topic a few weeks ago when my friend Gus posted it on his Facebook wall but I had not taken the time to check it out. This morning before I came into work I finally got the chance and I am outraged. Like all of you, I love the Internet! We do everything on there now. We shop, we educate ourselves, we express ourselves, and we communicate. The last two parts of my previous sentence are the most important part of the Internet in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m all about educating myself over the Internet, but I’m more involved in expressing myself and communicating with others. What would we do without the Internet? I know, it’s a lame question, but there are a lot of people out there saying that we need to go outside and get back to our roots. We need to go back, to an extent, to how it used to be before the Internet. It would be awesome to go out and run around or visit family or go on vacation but what if you can’t? What if you’re stuck at home because of an illness or disability and the only way you can get out is by visiting a site that holds information on a vacation spot you would love to go to? What then? With the Internet, we are able to visit places and learn things we wouldn’t normally be able to do at a moments notice. Think about everything you have done with the help of the Internet. I know there are bad things on there but I believe that the good outweighs the bad. I mean seriously, stop for a moment and marinade on what you’ve done, who you’ve found, and how you’ve expressed yourself or communicated. Now that you’ve taken a moment to reflect on this let’s think about something else.
What if the Internet we know today was shifted, regulated, and the very freedom of it, was taken away? It’s a scary thought if you ask me and right now there is a bill called, “PROTECT IP Act” that Congress is trying to pass that would kill the Internet. From what I have read the bill is being passed off as a good thing. The bill is set to stop Piracy and protect against copyright infringement. Good thing? Yes, but there will always be pirates. There is a lot to this bill so I won’t go deep into it. Instead, I will offer a link in order for you to educate yourself on this matter. What I can tell you is that if this is passed a lot of things will change. For example, sites such as WordPress could be in danger. The one site I blog my thoughts and opinions on would be at risk. I say this because if the bill were to pass it would give property owners the right to sue and take down those who allow the content to be added on their site, i.e. WordPress. I posted on Saturday Morning Cartoons a few months back and I used video’s from YouTube to take everyone back in time to when Saturday Morning Cartoons were worth watching. Now with this bill in place it’s possible that Disney or whoever else owns the property could sue WordPress and take down my post. The same goes for YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. We post non-stop on these sites with video’s and such to express ourselves and communicate. With this in place, we would no longer have that luxury.
Like many others, I see the Internet as a platform for education, and expression of many things. People are out there right now expressing themselves by showing off their musical talents and covering well known songs. Sometimes the new talent is able to pull off a better version of the well known song and it’s awesome! It’s great to have this freedom. It’s great that we can upload a video created by us with music in the background and post it for the world to see. Many people have been tapped by big companies because of their talent. Without the freedom of the Internet, the people would not be able to express themselves in such a way. Without the Internet and how it is today, we might not have Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. If this bill passes we might not have anything at all. Do you want to end up like one of the countries we see on the news that has the Internet blocked off? Are we going to roll over and let them regulate the freedom we currently have over the Internet? I would hope not! Although it seems impossible that this could happen because of the money that certain sites bring in, believe me when I say that it can happen. All it takes is for you, the people, to let them take it from us. The ball is in our court and we can stop this from happening. I have provided a video below and a link to a site, that is not of my creation, but of another fighter of the cause. Follow the link and you will be able to sign and send off a letter to Congress in order to express your concern. Our pleas may not matter but we need to at least try. Let’s band together and do our best to stop this bill. It’s time to fight for the Internet. It’s time to take a stand!Post Views: 125
By Ricardo — 4 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: 65