In this episode we go back in time a few years to when Curt, who lived down the street from the Kosciusko County 9-1-1 dispatch center fell out of a tree and his wife had to call 9-1-1. Sarah, was the call taker that day and in this one story, they both found out what the other was doing before and after the call. To bring them together and allow for closure was a great experience.
This is a must listen so please check it out and share it. 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 –
- Curt’s side of the 9-1-1 call
- Sarah’s side of the 9-1-1 call
- Know your location
- And more
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By Ricardo — 8 years ago
How does one realize they have the ability to shrink down to a size small enough to crawl into hole? Well, unless you’re Alice and drinking or eating different things in Wonderland, there is only 1 true step to realize this ability. Now, in order for me to reveal this step I must give a scenario. About a week ago my son and I were headed to the store to get a few things for dinner. I had the radio on a Rock station and a Kid Rock song was on. Normally I would have changed it but every word appeared to be bleeped out…or so I thought.
“Um…dad, what was that?”
“What was what?”
“Well, I heard the guy singing and then I heard a bleep sound.”
“Oh…well he said a bad word so instead of hearing the bad word they put in a bleep sound.”
“Oh, ok then.
I thought I was in the clear until the next verse destroyed everything.
“I AM AMERICAN BAD@$$!”
*Gasp* “HE SAID ASS!”
I froze and began to sweat. I was shocked but it was my own fault. Given the singer and the song I should have known that something would have been left without a bleep.
“What did you say?”
“Ass, he said ass. That’s a bad word…right?”
I tried not to laugh. “Yes, you’re right, it is a bad word but you don’t ever repeat it again.”
“Okay, I won’t but someone needs to tell them that they forgot to bleep that out.”
I chuckled to myself but had that been in public I would have taken that 1 step to shrinking myself and crawling into a hole. This is what I want to talk about. Everyone has been there and some more than others but what can you do? Children are honest and they speak their mind. They haven’t learned about what’s frowned upon in public yet so they have us, the mighty adults and parents, to guide them the best we can. It’s all we can do really, but when they speak it can sometimes lead to some very embarrassing moments.
So let’s get started. Many years ago I attended a graduation ceremony with my family. I was about 10 years old which would have made my younger brother 5, and my younger twin sisters 4. The weather was beautiful and the graduation ceremony was like any other but at the end of it I’m sure my parents realized their ability to shrink. The ceremony had just finished up and we were making our way to the parking lot from the football field at Fennville High School. My parents held the hands of my younger sisters and people were walking in between them. They didn’t seem to mind until a teacher, Mr. Lugten, walked between them. If you’re from Fennville you know exactly what I’m getting at here. This man was very nice and was an excellent teacher but he was very very tall and to a 4 year old…well…it was rather embarrassing for my parents.
I remember seeing Mr. Lugten walking towards us and my sisters were rambling on about all the people. I could see my parents staring in front of them and I realized they were looking at Mr. Lugten. As he got closer I my dad looked down at my sisters and back in front of him. My parents stepped to the side as Mr. Lugten walked in between them. My sisters locked their sight onto him and yelled,
“WHOA, IT’S A GIANT!”
I heard my parents gasp and everyone turned and stared at us. My dad looked up, took a deep breath, and apologized.
“I’m really sorry about that.”
“It’s okay Richard, I get that a lot.”
Mr. Lugten laughed it off and continued walking but my sisters kept looking back at him. It was hilarious and although my parents took their step toward shrinking it wasn’t all that bad. My dad actually knew Mr. Lugten from their days playing softball for different leagues but the incident was embarrassing none the less. It’s funny to think back on my parents and their urge to crawl into a hole but the more I laugh the more I think about my own kids getting me with something like that. One incident I remember fondly was when my son and I were leaving the grocery store and walking back to our car. I noticed an elderly woman walking towards us and she was carrying an oxygen tank and wearing a mask. I immediately panicked because I knew Logan would say something. I took a deep breath to settle myself down and just let go. How bad could it be? He had not made eye contact so I figured I was in the clear and worrying for nothing. As she walked by us it happened,
“What’s wrong with her!?”
“Shhh! Hold on!”
I could hear the woman breathing heavily and I pulled Logan as he stared at her.
“Quit staring Logan.”
“I’m sorry but she sounds like Darth Vader.”
He had said it loud. Loud enough for her to hear and I quickly turned in order to apologize in case she was looking our way but she continued walking. My face was hot and I looked down at Logan.
“Dude, you shouldn’t say things like that. She needs that to breathe.”
“Well I didn’t know that. She does sound like Vader though…”
At that moment I wanted to crawl into a hole but I couldn’t. Luckily no one had heard the conversation but as a parent you feel like everyone heard it and you want to escape. Another embarrassing moment takes place many years ago. It was during Thanksgiving and my entire family was at my Aunt Mary’s house. We were all gathered around the table for prayer and during prayer someone yelled out in a mousey voice,
“Dad! Dad! I need you to wipe my butt!”
All of us kids began to laugh and even some of the adults but my Uncle Manuel continued praying. My father quickly walked off in embarrassment. It was hilarious for us but my dad was all bent out of shape. What made it even better was that all of this was recorded on tape. Ah, kids…you can never tell when they are going to say something to trigger your ability to shrink and hide. One final example comes from a time when my wife and son had gone to church and Logan began to sing something that was far from a choir hymn. Now, before this incident we had been playing a lot of Guitar Hero. Logan loved almost every song and one in particular was his cup of tea. So while sitting in church and right before someone began to pray out loud to the congregation, my boy Logan belted out his song.
“Shout! Shout! Shout! Shout at the Devil!”
Yep, “Shout at the Devil” by none other than Motley Crew. Hearing my wife tell the story is hilarious but at that moment in time all she could do was put her hand over his mouth and shoosh him. If it had been me, I might have pinched him and told him to stop, followed by smiling at everyone and possibly waving. Either way, it takes just one step and as I mentioned before, kids are honest in what they say. We’re the ones here to guide them but sometimes…sometimes, that guidance can backfire with the complete honesty of a child. So what embarrassing moments have you had? Let’s start up a discussion and share stories. What incident made you realize that it only takes one easy step to figure out ones ability to shrink and crawl into a hole?Post Views: 513
By Ricardo — 2 years ago
A project by Within the Trenches Podcast Facebook Page Admin Shae.
Two years ago, I shared an article where the state of Tennessee was looking at making the status of their 911 Dispatchers “public safety” employees rather than “office clerical”.
And someone suggested that I was “denigrating” secretaries everywhere with this information. An article mind you, not written by me.
That struck a nerve with me then, and it’s still something that bothers me now. Not her words so much, but the fact that it’s two years later and we’re no closer to being realized for who we really are – the first, first responders.
So as a tribute to us, I’m asking for dispatch agencies all across the globe to send us a picture from your agency of what it really looks like in the throws of dispatch. Within the Trenches.
I’m asking for realistic, preferably candid photos of you or your team members, taken in your center. I want to tell a story through pictures, the heartache of hearing someone’s last breath, the helplessness of hearing the phone clatter to the ground – unable to help the person on the other end, the exhaustion on the faces of dispatchers after tragedy found their community.
I want people to watch this video and see in our faces that we are more than “just” secretaries. We are the first, first-responders. #IAM911
A few rules:
Post Views: 306
- No up close views of your CAD
- Realistic, preferably candid photos. (no smiling group photos for this project)
- Send your photos to the page or email them to email@example.com
By Ricardo — 2 years ago
I recently sent someone an #IAM911 story. The person responded saying that the story was heart wrenching but they asked a question after that, “can you tell me what it’s like to be on the receiving end of these calls?” The following was my response.
Imagine your brother has been dealing with a bad break up. You go to the bar and after a few drinks he tells you he wants to kill himself. You tell him to stop talking like that. It’s not the end of the world. You head home and when you arrive your brother mentions suicide again. Fed up with what he is saying you go inside, grab a gun and take it outside. You hand it to your brother and say, “If you really want to then do it.” You think that he will realize how stupid of an idea this is and will change his mind but…he grabs the gun and shoots himself in the head killing himself in front of you.
Now imagine you’re 9-1-1, receiving this call and only hearing screams. It sounds like two females screaming over the phone. You ask, “What’s your address? Ma’am? Can you hear me?” The screaming continues and you type out, “Unknown situation.” You remember a technique from your training and bring your voice to a whisper tricking the caller into thinking no one is there.
The screaming stops, “Hello? Hello?”
“This is 9-1-1, what’s your address and what is going on?”
While she tells you the address you hear screaming in the background.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE HE DID IT! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”
“Who is there with you?”
“My boyfriend and his brother who shot himself outside.”
“Who is the other female screaming?”
“That was my boyfriend…”
You realize the pain in the boyfriend and although you are strong and calm on the phone, in the back of your head all you can think about is your own brother.
“Ma’am, the police and ambulance are on the way.”
“The ambulance is coming ok?”
You hear your caller try to comfort her boyfriend but you hear him yell something that you will never forget.
“What the hell is an ambulance going to do? My brother’s face is all over the snow!”
The screaming continues and you hear your caller yell that her boyfriend now has the gun. He yells that he wants to kill himself. You tell her to get away from him and he eventually drops the gun and runs back outside. Police arrive and what felt like 15 minutes worth of chaos was more like 3 minutes. Police secure the boyfriend outside and rush in to check out the caller. She continues to cry and says thank you. You hang up the phone and sit there in shock.
“Are you ok,” your supervisor asks.
“Yeah I’m good,” you respond.
But you’re not good. You’re rocked and the screams echo in your head. For the next 3 hours they echo in your head and all you want to do is call your own brother just to hear his voice.
When you finally get the chance you tell him you love him. He asks what happened and after you tell him about the call he says, “I love you too.”
This is what it is like to be on the receiving end of these calls. This was a call that I took and this was years ago but I can still hear those screams of heartache. It never goes away. It is always there but you face it and manage it. I have said that taking a 9-1-1 call is like getting in a car, slamming the gas pedal and letting go of the steering wheel. I used to bury these calls and I caused more damage that way. Now I talk about them and it’s therapeutic for me. A big thing to understand is that 9-1-1 dispatchers are not drones. We don’t JUST answer the phone. We are there with you throughout the entire call and we may be calm and at the top of our game but in the back of our minds we are feeling your emotion. After the call, if there is time, we can reflect on it but the majority of the time? We pick up the next call and have no time to decompress.
I hope this answers your question…
RicardoPost Views: 8,760