Ep 155 features Dee, a dispatcher out of the city of Rockport, Texas. In this episode Dee shares her 9-1-1 story as well as what it was like to work in dispatch during Hurricane Harvey. Rockport was ground zero for this hurricane and her story is an amazing one. From the city running out of resources to no cell service for weeks, Dee, along with her crew and those on the road worked hard. But what if you have to tell someone no to a request for help? In dispatch you don’t tell people no but in this situation…there is no other option.
This is a must listen. To Dee, her crew, those out on the road and the TERT team that came out to assist, thank you for what you do and thank you for sharing this story. As always, if you have any comments, questions or you would like to be a guest on the show send an email to email@example.com.
CNN Report on Hurricane Harvey
Episode topics –
- Dee’s 9-1-1 story
- Hurricane Harvey
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By Ricardo — 4 years ago
I am a firm believer that every person we meet, we meet for a reason. Whether it is good or bad, a blessing or a lesson, there is a reason. A few years ago I reached out to someone who would help shape the rest of my career. Although the good deed was small it changed everything and made a big impact on my life.
When I was in the last part of my dispatch career I was working on my Masters in New Media Journalism. At this time I was writing heavily and posting all kinds of personal dispatch stories to my blog. It had become pretty popular with those in the 9-1-1 community as well as the general public. People were learning and I was loving it but I felt like something was missing, I felt like I could do more. As I was riding on the popularity of my written version of Within the Trenches I was introduced to podcasting through an assignment in school. I fell in love with it and started a public safety series doing stories with dispatch, police and EMS.
From there I decided to turn my written segment into a podcast but it was going to take a little help from Kickstarter. My goal for this Kickstarter campaign was $1,500. It would pay for equipment, hosting and more. I was going strong with $606 early on but my campaign stalled and I was sure I would not make it. I had 36 hours left and I was freaking out. I was reading some 9-1-1 industry news at 9-1-1 Dispatch Magazine Online and decided I would reach out to the editor for help. I told Gary Allen that I wasn’t looking for money from him. All I wanted was help getting the word out on my project. Later on that day I received a response from him saying that he loved the idea of a dispatch podcast and telling dispatch stories. He wrote up a small blurb on what I was doing and also reached out to some industry partners. In 24 hours I surpassed my campaign goal.
I can safely say that if it wasn’t for Gary’s help I probably would not have made it. On top of that I recently found out that one of the industry partners he reached out to was my now boss and founder of INdigital, a public safety solutions company. I thought my boss simply found me by the article that Gary put out but Gary reached out to him. It’s awesome how things work out sometimes. Sadly, Gary recently passed away. He had 40 years of public safety background and my only regret is not having more of an opportunity to have him on the podcast to tell his complete story. I did get a chance to have him on an episode with me and it is included within this episode. We were experimenting with Google+ Hangouts Live so the audio sounds a little different but it is a good one nonetheless. Also towards the end there is about a minutes worth of music. The show doesn’t end though, I was showing Gary a video and all you can hear is the music. So just in case you listen and wonder what is going on. Below you will find a link to the video version of episode 45 with Gary Allen. I hope you enjoy the episode and please share it.
As always if you have any questions or you would like to be a guest on the show you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be forever grateful to you. Your help made a huge impact on my life. I hope I am able to leave a mark on this industry the way you did. Godspeed my friend.
RicardoPost Views: 413
By Ricardo — 1 year ago
Welcome to another episode of Within the Trenches, true stories from the 9-1-1 dispatchers who live them. Episode 183 is an Open Mic episode. This episode features funny stories and blunders from 9-1-1. This was recorded at the Iowa APCO conference during the closing session.
Episode topics –
- Funny 9-1-1 stories
- Open mic blunders
As always if you have any comments, questions, topic suggestions or you would like to be a guest, send an email to email@example.comPost Views: 1,619
By Ricardo — 1 year ago
In any field of work you are always learning something new. This is even more true when it comes to being a 9-1-1 dispatcher. It’s one of the things that pulled me in when I first started back in 2001. I’m one of those people who get bored very easily. For example, if I’m reading an article it has to draw me in during the first paragraph or I am on to the next one. Naturally, work is the same way. So when I first started, the thought of helping others and coming into a job that wasn’t going to be the same everyday appealed to me.
My training at the beginning was minimal at best. I watched my trainer take a 9-1-1 call and then it was my turn. I was floored and thought he was joking but he was dead serious. Luckily, my first 9-1-1 call was an accident. I mean, the person who called, called on accident. It wasn’t a vehicle accident. From there I took a beginner 40-hour training course. We learned a lot, but it wasn’t focused on suicidal callers or active shooters, hell it wasn’t even on stress management and in reality, what the hell was stress management? It wasn’t a topic that I remember being mentioned when I first started.
You learn as you go and sometimes that is the best training. Nothing is the same, well, except for the call types, but one can almost guarantee that even though the call type is the same, the situation will be completely different. Again, you learn something new every day. As you continue to work you continue to train, but focused training is needed. It wasn’t until I started working for a much larger agency that I was able to experience focused training. It was then that I learned how to handle workplace negativity, leadership, stress management, active shooters and suicidal callers.
The classes were few and far between during my last 8 years in dispatch but it made me a better dispatcher. It provided the tools I needed to stay at the top of my game. If you can, I recommend seeking out training courses that will help you throughout your career. I know it seems easier said than done. I know that not all of you or your agencies can send you to any class you want because of money or being short staffed but you can search the Internet for different types of training or courses that offer premium content at an affordable price. Had I thought about it back when I was dispatching I would have taken more training courses.
One of the things I want to start doing to sharing information on training companies out there that focus on the topics that I have mentioned in this article. The first is Kim Turner, LLC. Kim is the current Communications Manager at San Bernardino out of California. She lives and breathes dispatch. She has worked on both sides of the radio and her team of elite trainers bring a new look at dispatch training for the next generation of 9-1-1. It is important to continue learning in the field of 9-1-1 dispatch. It has evolved from being a dispatcher to an emergency communications specialist.
For more information on continuing education with Kim Turner, LLC please visit the links below along with some descriptions on courses this company offers.
Dispatch Active Shooter Situations is a dynamic training class and the only one of its kind that blends the role of dispatchers in communications with the perspective of field personnel responding to the incident. This class explores the role of tactical communications to better prepare dispatchers to handle phone calls, manage radio traffic, and coordinate responding resources, as well as a resiliency component to help them after handling the traumatic incident. Facilitated by a SWAT Team Leader and Tactical Dispatch Team Leader this course sets the standard for dispatch operations.
Police and fire dispatchers handle various types of critical incidents. Natural disasters, criminal, and non-criminal incidents of a high priority can have dramatic impacts on dispatch operations. This class examines different critical incidents and the working partnerships between dispatchers and field-responders to best optimize response and handling of these events. What sets us apart is our ability to bridge the gap between the field and dispatch.
Stress Management for Supervisors and Managers
Communication supervisors and managers experience stress like their front-line employees. However, their stressors are uniquely related to their position as a leader. This is the only class in California specifically designed to equip supervisors and managers with leadership tools to resolve personnel conflict and develop resiliency for themselves and their employees.
Trauma Exposure and Management
The chronic stress of being exposed to traumatic incidents can have a heavy toll on the work performance and personal health of public-safety dispatchers. This class dives deeper into the psychology of trauma to give dispatchers a better understanding and help them become resilient, both individually and as an organization.Post Views: 214