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By Ricardo — 5 years ago
Guest Blog Post by Samantha, Dispatch Supervisor at Fenton PD, MI.
When I first started dispatching I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea the array of emotions and tasks I would face, the tribulations and triumphs, the joy and the sorrow. I never knew I was getting on the biggest roller coaster of all. I soon figured it out though. I learned to hate the lows; negative coworkers, bad morale, citizens taking their bad day out on me and the days where you just don’t feel cut out for the job. But oh how I love the highs; the adrenaline of working a good storm, a chase or a structure fire, a thank you from a stranger or being acknowledged for a job well done.
Unfortunately the job takes a toll on all of us, both physically and emotionally. For myself, the physical is more frustrating. With two kids under the age of 5 my life outside of work can be hectic. Throw in my husband’s busy schedule and goodbye gym time, hello 15 extra pounds! I started doing lunges and squats at my desk in a last ditch effort to do SOMETHING.
Then something amazing happened. Kelly Rasmussen, CEO of Success Communications Inc. said they needed speakers for a new conference, a conference that would be all about 911 dispatchers. 9114911. Anyone who has met Kelly or Michelle or taken a Success class knows that when it comes to motivating they’re the best in the business. I decided to take my newfound curiosity and pitch it to them. I offered to talk about the negative side effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Imagine my surprise when Kelly emailed to tell me she loved the idea and wanted me to speak at the first motivational conference dedicated to 911! I started to anxiously compile information for my presentation and what I found FLOORED me. I knew my diet included way too much fast food and pop and way too little exercise but I had no idea that one of the most detrimental things I was doing was something else entirely. I was sitting. All. Day. Long. I read studies and health journals and health blogs. Did you know that sitting too much could increase your risk for diabetes, heart disease and depression? Did you know that it could shorten your life? We’re supposed to be saving lives not shortening our own! According to one study the average American sits 6-8 hours a day. The average dispatcher (according to a small study I conducted) sits more than 10 hours per day. If the average American cuts that time in half they can add 2 years to their life. TWO YEARS! Imagine what dispatchers could add if we got up and off our butts!
Luckily for us this is so easy to fix. STAND UP! 80% of the dispatchers I surveyed have stand up consoles in their center. Standing up with minimal movement burns 2 ½ times more calories than sitting and helps fight the risks associated with sitting. For those who want to kick it up a notch, the answer is just as simple. There are tons of stretches and exercises you can do right at your desk (calf raises, squats and lunges to name a few.) Google, Pinterest and even YouTube are your best friends. Search “work exercises” or “stretches at your desk,” print some out and challenge your coworkers. Don’t just sit there, get up and keep taking the calls! We’re a group of people far too awesome to let sitting take such a toll on us.
To those of you who were at the conference, I hope you’re standing up as you read this (I typed it standing up!) I hope you’re making that extra effort so we can all enjoy a few more extra years when we reach that coveted retired status. Until then, ride the dispatch rollercoaster. Brave the lows, enjoy the highs and whether you’re in a rut or just love meeting other dispatchers, sign up for next years 9114911. I hope to see you all there!
For more check out “9 exercises to do at your desk.”
(Images of stretches are found below.)
Download Samantha’s PowerPoint presentation on wellness here.Post Views: 471
By Ricardo — 4 years ago
You find it rewarding to be a Communications Training Officer (CTO), but it’s been a long day with the trainee that hasn’t gone well. You are so busy that your 12 hour shift has turned into 14 and finally the time to go home arrives. But then you remember…you still need to fill out your daily observation (field training paperwork) for the new dispatcher.
CTOs are a critical component for a successful trainee experience, and their documentation is imperative for liability protection. While most dispatch centers have high tech software for handling calls, many are still using pen and paper for their daily observations and other on-boarding documentation. If the agency happens to use a Word document or PDF fillable form, these forms still need to be printed and signed to ensure the trainee receives feedback.
The cumbersome nature of manual paper forms creates a hassle to track information down and ensure that a trainee’s file is complete. Quality issues arise in the absence of a consistent, standardized training program. These challenges result in a limited ability to address training issues in a timely manner and be proactive in preventing problems. And without easy, real-time access to the data, supervisors can look like they’re out of touch when asked about the status of a trainee or the overall group, especially on short notice.
It doesn’t have to be that way any longer! Agency360 is on a mission to change this approach. Our web-based field training software is designed to manage the documentation of your on-boarding training program online. Using Internet connectivity, trainers, trainees, supervisors, and administrators can access and complete their information anytime, anywhere. With fields that you can modify, the software can be adapted to your way of training and help ensure your agency-specific policies and procedures are covered.
To learn more check out our website at http://www.agency360.com?utm_source=withinthetrenches or come see us in Booth 154 at the NENA Conference in Denver June 29th and 30th!Post Views: 449
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Ever since Within the Trenches was funded through Kickstarter there have been several niche Facebook pages that have helped in spreading the word on the show. One of those pages is The Cool Kids of 9-1-1. The people who run this page are also involved in many different aspects of the 9-1-1 profession. One of those aspects is a mini conference or “Mini-C” and it’s that time again folks! The South Florida 9-1-1 Dispatchers “Mini-C” has returned and is now in its fourth year. This mini-conference and precursor to National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week will take place on April 1 – 5 at the Boca Raton Police/Fire/9-1-1 Training Center 6500 Congress Avenue –Auditorium– Boca Raton FL 33487. The “Mini-C” will include classes that range from crimes in progress, active shooters and 9-1-1 risk management.
According to their official flier, the conference is “uniquely funded so that Attendee Cost is $0.00 FREE for all 9-1-1 Professionals who work in Palm Beach County! *Registration required before March 15th 2013*” Now, just because this is being held in Florida, doesn’t mean that you can’t attend. The flier goes on to say that, “Outside-the-County 9-1-1 Professionals and invited guests may register their interest now to be considered on an available-space basis. These registrations will have attendance confirmed by email on March 18th 2013 (2 week notice] So if you want to take part in this conference you need to get cracking folks! For more information on the Mini-C and The Cool Kids of 9-1-1 follow the links below.
Mini-C | Details PDFPost Views: 435