Episode 134 of Within the Trenches features Caroline Burau, 12 year 9-1-1 dispatch veteran and author of Answering 911: Life in the hot seat and Tell me exactly what happened. In this episode Caroline talks about how she got into dispatching, 9-1-1 calls that stuck with her, her inspiration for writing and much more! I also make an announcement that I have been holding back for some time and it’s an amazing one. This episode is one you don’t want to miss so please listen and share. Below you will find some links to Caroline’s social media and website.
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.
Episode topics –
- Caroline’s 9-1-1 story
- Early calls
- Writing, publishing, healing
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By Ricardo — 9 years ago
I’m sure you have all watched the show, “What Would You Do?” on ABC right? If not, it’s a show where people are put in situations to see if they would help out or sit back and do nothing. For example, a couple is sitting in a park and the male half is yelling at his girlfriend. She is crying and pleading for him to stop but he continues. They are both actors and in on the experiment and as they argue, some people simply pass by ignoring what is going on. Others step up and try to defuse the situation. It’s fascinating to watch how people react to the situation and how they stare but do nothing. The only time they make a move is when a group gathers to take out the bad guy. So what would you do?
I’ve asked myself this many times. As a dispatcher I receive certain certifications for my job. One of them is CPR and I have always thought about having to use it out of work. It might sound odd but when I’m in a checkout lane I think about what I would do if someone choked in front of me or passed out and needed CPR? It’s plagued my mind for a while and several months back I had my chance. I didn’t have to perform CPR but it was enough to let me know what I would do in an emergency situation out of the workplace.
It was in the evening that my family and I had decided to call for some Chinese take out. My son and I were going to order, play outside, and then go pick up the food. For some odd reason I couldn’t get a signal on my phone. I walked throughout our entire home and nothing. It simply said, “No service”. I always had at least one bar but for some reason there was nothing. I told my son to come outside with me so that I could get signal on my phone and as we walked outside I heard someone yell, “Help!”
“Did you hear that Logan?”
“Yeah, but I don’t see anyone.”
I looked around a few times and couldn’t see anyone. I heard the yell again and I looked down across the street and saw an elderly female laying in the driveway of an adult foster care (AFC) home.
“Stay right here Logan!”
I left my son at the doorway of our home and ran across the street.
“Ma’am are you ok?”
“Oh dear, where did you come from?”
“I live right across the street.”
“Oh bless you.”
“How long have you been out here?”
“I don’t know…seems like a while now.”
She was laying face down in the driveway struggling to get up.
“Ma’am are you hurt anywhere?”
“No…my legs will be bruised though.”
She laughed the situation off and tried to get up. I know that when someone is hurt you are not supposed to move them unless they are in immediate danger but she was in the driveway so I had to move her.
“Ma’am, I’m going to try and help you up. Is that ok?”
“Oh yes, that’s fine.”
I pulled her up and looked toward the entrance of the AFC home. A nurse had spotted us but she was unable to get the doors open. I noticed that the elderly lady had a gash on her forehead and was bleeding. I got one of the cloths from her bag and put firm pressure on her wound. The nurse finally came out with a wheelchair and I was instantly annoyed with her.
“Oh, now what have you done to yourself?”
“Do you know how long she’s been out here,” I asked.
“Well no. I saw the both of you out here and I rushed out to help.”
“You were unable to get the doors open though, right?”
“Well…they’re locked at this time and…well I wasn’t sure how to get them opened.”
I was pissed! Who knows how long she had been out there and since it took me a little bit to even notice her in the driveway, someone could have easily run her over. I let go of my attitude for the sake of the elderly lady and I sat her in the wheelchair.
“Let me see your face…oh…you’re like my guardian angel. You came out of no where to help me.”
“I’m glad I was able to help. My name is Ricardo.”
A few more nurses came outside to see what had happened and I asked if anyone had called 911.
“Um…no we haven’t. She should be fine though.”
I stared at them for a moment in disbelief. I mentioned where I worked and that I was going to call and they agreed that I should call. Funny how the tune changed so quickly huh? The first responders and EMS showed up fast, as well as an officer and it felt good that I was able to help. What made it even better was when I turned around to see if my son was still at the doorway. He and my wife both smiled at me. It was followed up by a nod of acknowledgement and a thumbs up from my son. I had found out that the lady had gone grocery shopping and parked on the opposite side of the building. She had been told that the doors would be locked and that she would have to walk to the other side to get in. She did this, but the weight of the bags were too much for her and she fell. What’s worse is that the doors she was headed to were locked. They mixed up the doors on her. It was a simple mistake but it could have been much worse.
In the end, I finally got my chance. I was put in a situation, out of the workplace, where I had to make a decision on whether or not to help or sit back and let someone else do something about it. There was no time to think just act, and act I did. After that incident she was to be moved to her families home. I’m not sure where that is but if you’re out there Wilma, I hope you’re doing great. God bless you…Post Views: 511
By Ricardo — 5 years ago