Thursday, February 7, 2013

A bit of the lighter side!

Once a week, I spend ten .. uhm, glorious **cough, cough** hours on call taking. Tonight was that,oh so wonderful, night.

The night started out pretty average. I had the various assaults, domestics, vehicle thefts, and barking dogs that are typical to our agencies. I was about six to seven hours in when the first call of mention came in.

My caller was Elmer Fudd. Yep, I said Elmer Fudd! He sounded just like him! He didn't want anything big, just a follow up on a case. I wonder if he was getting an update on his missing friend the Wasskully Wabbit?!

My second call took the call taker trophy for the evening. It was .... AWESOMELY HORRIBLE! A call came in on a 911 line. My caller, of course, immediately said, "this really isn't an emergency, buuut". I knew right then it was going to go down hill. She wanted to report a harassment. I asked her who she was being harassed by. She then asked me if I knew what Beiberhood was. WHAAAT? Beiberhood? Sorry chick, haven't heard that one before! She proceeded to explain that Bieberhood is a chat room for 18 and under fans of Justin Beiber. She was upset because there is a female on the chat that was 21 and had admitted to having three children. This particular situation was gross and she wanted the police to shut the 21 year olds part of the site down. I asked her how that was harassment. She said it was just wrong and even though she was 23 and routinely got on the site, she didn't like that this 21 year old was on there too.  My caller was concerned about the fans. The 21 year old "suspect" wasn't doing anything wrong except that she was 21 and my caller didn't like it. I tried to explain to her that the police cannot do that and she needs to contact the site administrator. She just was not getting it. Several frustrating minutes went by while I continued to figure out where the harassment came in. I found out that she lived in an area dispatched by another agency. I transferred her and continued to listen to the call as she spoke with a dispatcher from that agency. The dispatcher politely listened to the caller. He told her to just shut off her computer. Believe it or not... she went to try and turn off her computer because that was going to stop the person from posting on the site. The dispatcher then asked a very poignant question. "You dialed 911 for this?" The caller admitted she had and the dispatcher then asked her if she knew what 911 was for. My caller said, "well, I know I'm not the Internet police and I didn't have the website for Internet security". The dispatcher again said, "do you know what 911 is for?" She said she did and that it was for emergencies. The dispatcher then told her that yes, and this is not an emergency and I will be happy to send the police to your home to explain what exactly is an emergency. The young lady said no, everyone was asleep. They don't need to come over. The dispatcher told her, "No, I have your address and an officer will be coming over to talk to you about how and when to use 911". I have not laughed that hard in a looong time!

My final fantastic call of the evening was short and sweet. "911, what is the address of your emergency?" "I smell and I need help" Click ... Let's just say that one got a visit too.

Answering calls from citizens are usually pretty routine. Sometimes they are heart wrenching and they set your blood pressure to all new highs. But sometimes... sometimes, you get those calls that just make you laugh your ass off!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Too Many Pieces To Mend

I cannot count how many times someone has told me they don't know how I do my job. They couldn't do it. I am here to tell you, there are days that I don't know how I do my job, but I get in the car, I drive the 15 miles into work, I park, and I walk in the doors. I sit down, I put my headset in, I am briefed by the previous dispatcher, and I do it. I do it because someone has to. Someone has to pick up the phone. Someone has to answer the call for help. I do it because I feel a sense of well being when I help someone. There is that one moment before you hang up the phone, when your caller takes a deep breath and says thank you.

There are days where I feel stretched a bit thin. It is during those times that I remind myself why. I remind myself that I do this job because I love it. I do it because I love helping people when they are at their ends. I look at my co-workers, we share a laugh or two... or three. We share a call that hit us at our cores and remind each other that we have all been there before.

One of my guilty pleasures is to watch the TV series 'Flashpoint'. I love this show! I recently watched an episode where a song played at its conclusion. I'm not sure why this song spoke to me, but it did. I don't mean for this post to be depressing. I do want this blog to be educational, uplifting, but at the same time I want to share the emotional ups and downs we "on the job" face. I'm including the song so that you may hear it if you want.

With that said, to my fellow dispatchers, police officers, and firefighters... I have the deepest love, admiration, and respect for you.


Too Many Pieces To Mend by Libby Weaver