Imagine you’re watching television, enjoying your day and a breaking news flash comes on. You see law enforcement in a shootout with two heavily armed men during a bank heist. You are shock at the sight of it. Now imagine you’re 911, experiencing this first-hand with your brothers and sisters who are there, giving their lives. You listen as they yell for assistance, and…“Shots fired!”
Episode 131 – Imagine Listening features the stories of the #IAM911 movement. This episode also features radio traffic recordings courtesy of the 911dispatch.com tape library on the North Hollywood bank heist shootout that occurred February 28, 1997. This year marks the 20th anniversary of that incident. Two men, heavily armed and wearing body armor were in a shootout with law enforcement for nearly 44 minutes. In the end, the only fatalities were the suspects.
This is a must listen! As always if you have any comments, questions or you would like to be a guest on the show send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have an #IAM911 story to share, use the same email or send a message to the Facebook podcast page or Twitter account.
Episode topics –
- Stories from the #IAM911 movement
- 911 tape – North Hollywood bank heist shootout
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By Ricardo — 7 years ago
I’m sure you have all taken a random trip some time in your life and whether it turned out good or bad it was still an experience. One of my random trips includes my first Greyhound bus ride from Michigan to Florida. My cousin Mike and I started out in South Haven and the bus station was a hole where it shared a building with dry cleaners and a gyro stand. It was odd but what could we do? The up side of it all was that there was a table top style arcade game of Ms. Pacman and we played until the bus arrived. When it finally did show up we boarded and it was pretty nice. The seats were cozy and had lots of room and we felt that we were headed for a smooth trip. And…We were wrong!
Once we made our switch in Michigan City the quality of bus went down, way down. The seats were small, the bus was loud, and the stench from the bathroom was bad and it was hot. We were second guessing our decision but we proceeded with our adventure. We made plenty of stops but I want to highlight on the memorable ones like Chicago. By the time we got to Chicago we were hungry and tired. We went from a stank ass bus to a stank ass bus station. We got in line to get some food and it was set up like a high school cafeteria. We were looking at the food and it was rank! The site and quality was right out of “Rapper’s Delight”, “The macaroni’s soggy, the peas are mushed, and the chicken tastes like wood”. Yep they described it just right but the peas in Chicago had that stale smell to them and were topped with a brown film. We decided to eat burnt burgers and soggy fries and although the food sucked and the place smelled something awful there was a highlight. When we left I was looking out the window and saw a homeless man sitting out back on a recliner and he threw a thumbs up to me. It might seem sad but it was the coolest thing to me.
When we got into Kentucky the entire bus was ready to take out the bus driver. The guy was one of those people that you want to clock in the face and shout, “That’ll learn ya!” At one of our stops he tells us that he is not staying long and for us not to get off. There was an older male up front who had the type of crutches that are clasped around both arms and he said he really had to go. The bus driver yelled at him to hurry up or he would have to catch the next bus. I shit you not we were not there ten minutes and the guy shut the door and left. We were all yelling at him to stop and the guy was just walking out of the station and the bus driver yelled at us to shut up and that he warned him. We left the poor guy there and his luggage was still on the bus. We were all angry and sad but our spirits were lifted when we passed a sign on the highway that said, “Batcave next exit”. Bruce Wayne’s hideout was no longer a secret and yes this seems insensitive but what else could we do or say?
The adventure was pretty interesting and when we were in Tennessee we met a cute hippie chick that resembled Natalie Portman and she gave us her pillow. It was signed, “The Hippie Chick”. We made stops in places that one would not dare get off to have a movement for fear that Leatherface or some other oddity would come out and snatch you. The most vial of all bus stops was in Jacksonville. The food was fine and it had some old school arcade games that I used to play at Aladdin’s Castle in the Westshore Mall but the people were something odd and raunchy. We were sitting at the station and I glanced to the left and noticed a girl walking out of the bathroom. I had to do a double take on her and it wasn’t because she was good looking, it was because she walked out of the men’s bathroom. She stumbled around and appeared drunk. She wore a pink tank top and a very short hot pink skirt with black heels. I’m sure you know where this is going, or do you?
I nudged my cousin and told him to look and when we both turned to look at her again we noticed something fall on the floor. She chuckled and ran out of the station. We tried to see what it was but the janitor got to it first. We heard him gag and we stood up. The janitor was bent over gagging and shouted,
“It’s a condom!”
We laughed and watched as he tried to get it into the garbage can. At that time our bus had arrived and we had to get in line to board. As we walked up to the line we passed a lady who was passed out and laying down on the seats in the main waiting area. My cousin and I stood in line and we could hear her snoring. People were trying to wake her up and I thought they should leave her alone and let her rest but I noticed there was another reason they were trying to wake her. I focused my attention underneath the seats she was laying on and it appeared that she had an accident. Yes folks, there was a large puddle underneath her and when she finally woke she hobbled her wetness to the bathroom to clean up. We thought we had seen it all until we boarded to head to Orlando.
On our way to Orlando we met the Hamburger Guy. I have no idea what the hell his name was but my cousin Mike and I have a good reason for calling him this. Hamburger Guy (HG) was dressed in a stained muscle shirt, cargo shorts, and ratty flip flops. He sat in front of us, turned around and asked if we could smell him. We told him no and he replied with,
“Really? Wow! I only asked because I’m sweating like hell and my pits stink like hamburger.”
We busted up laughing to the point that our stomachs hurt and he said,
“Hey hey, watch this.”
He walked to the back where a girl sat and he asked her the same thing. She actually took a wiff and said she couldn’t smell hamburger but you could see on her face that she was going to blow stacks all over the bus. Finally HG went up front where an elderly man was asleep. He sat in back of him and put his arm up by the old man. HG began to fan his hamburger stench toward the face of the man and the man started twitching like he was having a bad dream. The guy must have smelled pretty bad for the old man to twitch but he never woke up. It was funny and we were cracking up. The adventure was an experience that I will never forget and although we had fun and met some interesting people, I will never ride a GREYHOUND bus again!Post Views: 76
By Ricardo — 6 years ago
A look into the future of Holland, MI was on display for the Kinderparade, part of the cities annual Tulip Time Festival, on May 10th, 2012. The festival, held in a city known for its tulips and Dutch heritage, was struck with a problem; it was missing its main attraction. The cities tulips had bloomed early due to warm weather a couple months prior, but instead of looking at the missing tulips as a loss, this year’s festival was spun with the use of technology and playfully named, “stem fest.”
“I hope people have fun with it,” Susan Zalnis, Tulip Time’s marketing manager, told The Holland Sentinel. Jenifer Jackson, a resident of neighboring Zeeland, said,
“Using the play on words to make fun of the lost petals was smart and innovative. It was all in good spirit and kept the attraction of ‘tulips’ alive by focusing on the stems.”
T-shirts displaying the name were sold for $10 and buttons for $1. While the people of Holland embraced this years “stem fest,” Gov. Rick Snyder, who spoke at a luncheon a day prior, saw the missing tulips as a way to display the cities ability to move forward and continue to innovate during rough times.
“I saw adversity and turning it into something you can make the best of,” Snyder told a crowd of about 700 at Hope College’s DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland. “Recognizing that (the dearth of tulips) is a one-year phenomenon and realizing that we’ll be back,” The Grand Rapids Press noted.
The following day at the Kinderparade, Louann Werksma, a volunteer for the festival, stood by a Chevrolet Volt. The electric car, supplied by DeNooyer Chevrolet of Holland, was one of the vehicles used to simultaneously display Snyder’s prior words of inspiration and show the public how Holland is moving forward. “Holland has the most Advanced Energy Storage (AES) facilities in the world,” said Werksma of the use of electric cars within the Kinderparade, “The vehicles tie in well with this years festival.” Featured in the parade were electric cars by Chevrolet, Nissan, and Mitsubishi. The parade also saw Holland police officers on Segway’s equipped with flashing strobes.
Despite the lack of tulips, the festival was viewed in a different light, an inspiration of sorts or by this quote, taken by The Grand Rapids Press from Snyder saying,
“Think about it as our comeback, as part of our reinvention.”Post Views: 175
By Ricardo — 4 years ago
Today’s episode of Within the Trenches touches on the topic of stress and physical and mental issues in 9-1-1. As 9-1-1 dispatchers, we have heard it all. We have taken every call from the most ridiculous to the most horrific. If you’re like me, the calls that involve children are the ones that affect you most. I once took a call from a nine-year-old girl who had come home from school and found her mom passed out in the living room. She told me that her mom was not moving and her face was blue. I told her how to do CPR and she did it the best she could until help arrived. Although she did a great job her mom had already passed. She had had an overdose and died long before her daughter got home. I remember the little girl being scared but never lost it. Maybe it was the shock of the situation. Whatever it was, it’s a call I’ll never forget.
Towards the end of my dispatch career I began to feel burnt out. I enjoyed my job but the politics, long hours, workplace drama and stress began to eat at me. It’s something that people don’t understand unless you have done the job. The stress can be so great that some dispatchers have crashed and burned. How come no one, other than the dispatchers themselves, have noticed or addressed this? It’s something that wasn’t out there before but within the past year there have been numerous news articles covering the constant stress and physical and mental state of 9-1-1 dispatchers.
Whitney and I have done episodes in the past about CISM and EMDR but I wanted to do another one. In this episode I spoke with Michelle, assistant professor with Northern Illinois University who has been doing research on 9-1-1 dispatchers for the past few years concentrating on mental and physical health. There is a lot to learn in this episode. There was so much we could touch on that we are going to do a second episode to cover the rest. Michelle’s research is ongoing and if you would like to participate you can do so by clicking the link below. There is also a description. As always you can email the show at email@example.com.
We are currently looking for participants to enroll in our current studies. We are recruiting experienced TCs (at least one year of experience as a TC) and they can be currently working, have left the occupation, or retired from the job. Experienced TCs can complete a 1.5-2 hour survey online that they complete in multiple sittings. We are also doing follow up surveys that are much shorter (45 minutes) at 6 months and 12 months after the first survey. For each survey completed, the TC gets entered for a chance to win one of two $100 cash prizes. There will be three drawings – one after we’re finished collecting the baseline survey, one after we’re done collecting the 6 month survey, and one after the 12 month survey. The survey is hoping to get a good estimate of the psychological and physical health complaints of TCs and is a follow up to the pilot project. We’re also hoping to understand much more about what predicts poor health over time for this population.
We also hope to enroll trainees. They just have to be within their first 4 months of training. These participants complete a 1.5-2 hour survey and get $30 for completing it, as well as a chance to win one of two $100 cash prizes. In addition, we do shorter follow up surveys (45 min in length) and hold drawings for each of the subsequent time points that a trainee completes the survey. We hope that they will stay enrolled, even if they do not complete training or leave the job. The survey is looking at factors that predict adverse mental health and job attrition over time to help improve training efforts, hiring practices, and telecommunicator well-being.
Episode topics –
Post Views: 106
- Blue Mazda call
- Michelle’s intro and research interest
- What elements contribute to PTSD
- And more