Friday, September 28, 2018

Fourteen Years Doing the 9-1-1 Thing




Earlier in the month I passed the 14 year mark as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher.  In my employment I'm responsible, among many other things, for dispatching police, fire, sheriff, and ambulance agencies.  I'm also responsible for taking calls from the public and screening them for what emergency has occurred. 

I've heard it all - crazy, insane, and mundane.  Everything from a son who's found his suicidal father dead in the garage to a guy who had his junk super glued to his leg.  Ahh, the stories I could tell....but won't.

I'm often confronted with "Bet you have a lot of crazy stories."  Yeah...and no.  There comes a point in time when a person in my profession has to detach themselves.  If I became personally involved with all the calls, I'd be bat shit crazy.  If I've heard about one bar fight, I've heard them all.  If I've dispatched one ambulance for a motor vehicle accident, I've done it a thousand times.  

Don't get me wrong, I do care.  Just not enough to make it personal.  

Of the 14 years, I've worked the midnight shift for all but two of those.  Our shift isn't the busiest, but it produces the most in-progress, high-crime calls.  At this point in the game, I have the choice to move to another shift but I'm content with being on the "dark side of the moon".  

Do I think I'll retire as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher?  I don't know.  I didn't think I'd be in it for this long.  I don't love the job, but I don't not love it.  It's a part of who I am.  An identity.  A decent paycheck.  And a way to make a difference sometimes. 

3 comments:

BLovedBoston said...

That's an incredible job to have and I'm sure it's sometimes hard to detach yourself from what you hear!

Theresa Mahoney said...

I'd have a hard time detaching. I'm a visual crier. If I see (or hear) someone crying, it makes me cry too so I don't think I'd be very good at that job.

My cousin used to do loss prevention and those stories are often hilarious. He just graduated the police academy today, so I'm looking forward to hearing more about his escapades interacting with the public.

Renee said...

Congratulations or I'm so sorry on you being a 911 dispatcher for so long ;)