NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING strikes more anger at the heart and soul of a dispatcher than that phrase. We’re there. Every call. Before our police friends, fire friends, or paramedics make scene. We’re there when the situation is chaotic. We hear the screams for help from the mother after she found her 2 month old blue and unresponsive in bed. We hear the pleas from a husband of 50 years for his wife to start breathing. We hear as that same husband apologizes profusely to his beautiful bride for everything he’s ever done that maybe wasn’t right by her. We hear him say he hasn’t had enough time with her yet through sobs and attempts at CPR compressions. We hear those agonal breaths and we know that at that point unless a miracle walks through that door fast with an AED and whole lotta support from the great God above, we’re just there on that phone for moral support. We talk suicidal people off of their ledge. We make friends in those brief, but intense phone calls. We listen intently hoping to hear any kind of clue through screams of horror as a mad gunman breaks into a house and starts popping off rounds. We hear the shots being fired at our officers right before they pay the ultimate price. We aren’t secretaries. We aren’t JUST DISPATCHERS. We have the PTSD scars to prove it. Each one of us has calls that we carry with us. The sounds of our worst calls forever burned to memory. Some nights I dream of calls I’ve taken like I’m sure many others like me do. We may not be on the scene, but we’re there. 24/7/365. To those of you walking the gold line and sitting in that hot seat on a daily basis. Keep rocking it out. Someday you’ll be recognized as more than a clerical position and maybe your pay will start to reflect that! Like one of my favorite podcasts says #IAM911. Wear the badge proudly.
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