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The Next Call…

Guest blog written by: Daphanie Bailes – Within the Trenches Admin, In Between the Chaos columnist for IAED & Senior Telecommunicator and Communications Training Coordinator for Martin County Fire Rescue

I have never done that. I was so emotionally consumed by your call, I broke character completely. I walked outside and did something that I had never needed to do before.

Yours was the first call of my shift. You said you found your teenage son on the floor in his room…cold…blue. The phone wouldn’t reach. You said you would call from your cell. I told you to leave the line open and call back. As the phone rang only a few seconds later, I told my team that I would get it, I had you. We did CPR for what felt like forever. I relayed location information in between the compressions counter so Law Enforcement could find your house. When I heard the officer arrive and attach the AED, the robotic voice emitted a heart wrenching phrase, “Shock not advised”. The officer continued CPR until the rescue went on scene. I stayed on that open line as long as I could, listening for some glimmer of hope. The rescue encoded to the hospital. I heard the auto-pulse machine in the background giving compressions. I listened to the paramedic relay the ALS protocol administered. Round after round of medication had been given. No change.

At some point, I was able to walk outside. I needed a minute. Just to process. It was raining. Maybe I could somehow wash your screams out of my head. The situation just hit so close to home, I couldn’t shake it off.

I called my daughter’s middle school. I asked the receptionist to pull her out of class and have her call me. Why was I asking this? What is wrong with me? Moments later, my phone rang.

“Hello.” “Mommy, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, baby. Mommy had a bad call. I just wanted to hear your voice.”

“Ok, Mom. I love you.” (How lucky was I to be able to hear that?!)

“I love you, too. Have a good day, sweetheart. I’ll see you later.”

I came back in and stopped by my boss’ office. He asked me if I was ok. In my head I’m shouting “How can I be ok?” I began to cry and told him how I felt, another first for me. I told him how I feel like a little part of my heart dies each time I take a call like that, how I don’t know how many more of those calls I can take, how my heart hurts, how I wish that I could just take a break from it all but I know I can’t. My team needs me. I was lucky enough that he was able to cover the phones for me a little while longer. I took another walk around the parking lot, took a few more deep breaths and resumed my post, waiting for that next call.

Later, the hospital called for an air transport to the pediatric hospital in the neighboring county. I prayed it was “my patient”. Almost 2 hours later, the patient was stable enough to fly. Do I dare hope?

I was blessed to receive several updates through the public safety grapevine, a definite rarity. After each update, I remained “cautiously optimistic”. A few weeks later, I learned he went home. The Protocol, the on-scene efforts, the pre-hospital care, the modern medicine of 3 different hospitals, many prayers and a miracle had brought this child back. Back to his momma, so she could hear him say “I love you too Mom”.

That makes it all worth it. That’s why we take the needle and thread and sew the pieces of our heart back together…and take the next call.

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Posted by on July 14, 2017.

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Categories: Jabber Log, The Creative Corner, Within the Trenches

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Ricardo Martinez II is a creative individual who is using his skills in writing, design, and podcasting to tell the stories of those he works with. For 13 years he has answered the call of a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Throughout his years in dispatch he was able to go to school where he received an Associate’s in web development through Baker College, a Bachelor’s in graphic design through Full Sail University as well as a Master’s in new media journalism in March of 2013. Before starting his Master’s program he launched Jabber Log, a blog about current events and his life stories. His personal blog posts became a hit with his audience and one such post even appeared on WordPress.com’s “Freshly Pressed” section on their main page. From there his blog opened doors that included promotions for businesses, artists and musicians. Once he started his Master’s program he began doing multimedia stories that can be found on his YouTube channel. Through this program he discovered podcasting. It spawned a series that tells the stories of those in the field of emergency services. He then created a podcast version of a segment on his blog called Within the Trenches, a section of writing based on his experience as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. He launched Kickstarter campaign to raise $1,500 for the equipment needed for a show that would feature the stories of 9-1-1 dispatchers. The campaign was funded and can now be found at www.thejabberlog.com. His goal is to tell the story of everyone he meets. “I believe that everyone has a story to tell. I want to do everything I can to bring that story to life.” – Ricardo Follow these links for Ricardo Martinez II and Jabber Log! Twitter | Facebook | Google+ |  Linkedin Email me by using the form below! Relatedmore →
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