Today was a Monday. Perhaps the most Monday-ist Monday I’ve had in quite some time. My radio at work entailed working a main channel. Which is not a big deal! I can rock a radio out. I’d dare say that I’m actually pretty darn good at it! However, today… Today was… Different. Today took it out of me.
My morning started off normal-ish. Traffic stops, units marking on and off duty, the regular calls, and then an unknown accident. With 3 cars. And a smoking vehicle.
I had just walked back into dispatch from a bathroom break when the shit hit the proverbial fan. I quickly threw the headset on and picked up a 9-1-1 call. The caller was involved in the accident that everybody else in the room just briefed me about. The caller told me they thought whoever was in the car across from them was dead. Through sobbing I collected details and notified the appropriate units.
One by one they start making the scene. And there it is, “Central, we have a confirmed fatality.” That sentence immediately gives you a sinking feeling.
My road guys start running license plates and notify me not to give the information back over the air about the owners. This is usually typical when there is a fatality involved. However, upon running plates, I’m able to see the people behind these vehicles they’re running.
A Face To Go With A Name Is A Good Thing
I’m able to put a face to a name. Something that we often don’t get in dispatch. Closure isn’t something we’re familiar with. We often get left in the dark as far as outcomes go. Upon seeing the information included in the license plate returns, the mood in the room changes. We all realize that someone’s family has just changed and that life is fleeting. We take a second, talk about it, and then start working again.
From there on out, the day is pretty much screwed. You do your best and trudge through the rest of it like a boss. You drive home in silence, let the dogs out, and then sit in a quiet house reflecting on the day. When your husband calls you and asks if he can take you for a bike ride and some ice cream because he knows what kind of day you had, you take him up on that offer. Because somedays you just need ice cream.