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Within the Trenches Ep 205

Welcome to another episode of Within the Trenches, true stories from the 9-1-1 dispatchers who live them. Episode 205 is a look back at the last few months of my dispatch career and the calls I took. I recently celebrated my 5 year anniversary of my last day. It’s an episode you don’t want to miss along with a few announcements.

Episode topics –

  • Back from vacation
  • A look back at the last few months of my dispatch career
    • Suicide call – The soon to be ex
    • Suicide call – I tried to call you the day you ran your car into a tree
    • Medical – Spanish translation
  • And more

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or you would like to be a guest on the show, please email me at


#IAM911 #ThisIsMe

On August 24th, 2016 I inserted myself into the battle for reclassification. I wanted to prove how different 9-1-1 dispatchers were from clerical workers and commercial dispatchers by sharing anonymous stories from the Thin Gold Line. You answered the call to action by sharing all over the world and with a mere glimpse into a call you opened the eyes of millions. You gave a raw look into dispatch like no one has ever done before. You changed the media, the general public, Industry Partners and those out in the field. You are a vital piece of public safety and you gained massive recognition. I am so proud of each and every one of you and honored to know so many of you.

A month after the movement was born, a companion called Project #IAM911 was launched revealing the faces that make up the movement. The intent was to humanize the voice within the trenches. Hundreds of dispatchers sent in pictures with #IAM911 on their hands and signs revealing who they are and that they are human. Imagine Listening followed as an extension to the podcast sharing the stories that have been submitted for the movement saying that, “Your worst day is our everyday.” The #IAM911 movement continues to grow, stories are posted daily and as we approach the 2nd anniversary, the day we let the world know who we are and what we do, the movement will continue with a segment in the form of #IAM911 #ThisIsMe.

What I am looking for this time is a picture of you in dispatch or in every day life. I want you to share a glimpse into your dispatch experience, good or bad. Give me your honest, raw, look at what it has been like for you. Pictures have been posted as examples. Just remember to use #IAM911 #ThisIsMe. If you would like to do a team photo and share a glimpse into a team experience then please use #IAM911 #ThisIsUs. Let’s continue to show the world who we are and what we do. Let’s show them that when they hurt, we hurt. We are human and this is us.

Here’s to the coming anniversary. #IAM911 #ThisIsMe #ThisIsUs

Please send your memes to the Facebook podcast inbox, Twitter DM, Instagram DM or email us at If you do not know how to create a meme you can send your image and experience and we will put it together and post it.

Month of June / National NENA Sponsor

I am very excited to partner up with RapidSOS, a leader in emergency technology that will help save lives for years to come. Their work on location accuracy is top notch and this past week they made an exciting announcement as they partner with Apple to deliver accurate location. You can read more about it here. Again, I am excited, honored and proud to be partnering up with RapidSOS as they sponsor the podcast for the month of June as well as the National NENA conference. To learn more please make sure to check them out below.

RapidSOS is an emergency technology company that has spent the past five years working with the public safety community to provide a rich data link from any connected device to 911 and first responders. Through RapidSOS’ NG911 Clearinghouse, a PSAPs trusted source of supplemental device location and additional data, 911 can receive life-saving caller data from sources like Uber and Waze through their existing call-taking, CAD, and mapping software.

RapidSOS – Facebook | Twitter | Web | YouTube

2018 National NENA/Month of June Sponsor

Once again I am excited to have Kim Turner, LLC. as a sponsor but this time for the National NENA conference as well as for the month of June. To learn more about Kim Turner, LLC. please read below and follow their links on social media.

Kim Turner, LLC. –

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide immersive, relevant training and consulting for the next generation of public safety 911 professionals and organizations.

Our Vision

Gone are the days of mind-numbing Power Point® slideshows with no student participation and endless war stories. Our instructors and consultants are current industry leaders and practitioners who are results-driven. We integrate proven adult learning methodologies, critical thinking, and thoughtful questioning to create rich learning environments where our students thrive in their training and development.

Our Goal

Our goal is for you to thrive in the classroom to better support you as a positive change agent in your organization and we accomplish this by challenging your critical thinking skills in a respectful and rewarding way.  We work with the most renowned agencies in the country, small one-seat operations, and every size between. Our training is appropriate for dispatch, professional and sworn staff.

For more information –

Kim Turner, LLC – Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Web

Within the Trenches Ep 201

Welcome to another episode of Within the Trenches, true stories from the 9-1-1 dispatchers who live them. Episode 201 is a live audience episode and it was recorded on Mackinac Island, Michigan at the 2018 NENA/APCO conference. This is Open Mic, where we tell funny stories that come from 9-1-1. Enjoy and please share!

Sponsored by

Kim Turner, LLC – Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Web

RapidSOS – Facebook | Twitter | Web | YouTube

Episode topics –

  • An April Fool’s prank on some officers
  • MF has my money
  • “It” is stuck in the vacuum hose
  • And more

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or you would like to be a guest on the show, please email me at

Within the Trenches Ep 200

This is a live audience episode and it was recorded live on Mackinac Island, Michigan at the 2018 NENA/APCO conference. It all started at the Michigan NENA conference 5 years ago for this podcast. Much has happened since then. I am honored and blessed to be able to do this and share dispatch stories. They are the important ones that you don’t hear, but they are the ones that need to be heard. Since the time I started doing this, we have shared, we have healed and we have grown.

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or you would like to be a guest on the show, please email me at Thank you all for the support and for listening. If it wasn’t for all of you, I would not have made it to this epic episode 200. Here’s to many more…

Episode topics –

  • IAM911 stories from the 9-1-1 professionals that make up the movement in Michigan

Within the Trenches Ep 199

Welcome to another episode of Within the Trenches, true stories from the 9-1-1 dispatchers who live them. Episode 199 is an intro to an epic episode 200. Why an intro? Well, I want to give you a little taste of what you are going to hear. Episode 200 is a live audience episode of Imagine Listening. Enjoy…

Sponsored by Kim Turner, LLC – Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Web

Reader’s Digest Article – “Secrets a 911 Dispatcher won’t tell you

Episode topics –

  • An intro to episode 200
  • Can you tell me what it is really like?

As always if you have any comments, questions, topic suggestions or you would like to be a guest, send an email to

Can you tell me what it’s like?

Original story shared

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.


“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…



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