I am a 911 dispatcher and control operator for a major metropolitan city. These calls are real.
This is my diary.
Yet again I am sharing bad news. Last night I said that for some officer somewhere out there, tomorrow is his last. Those words struck close to home. Tonight we lost another deputy. He was killed in an off-duty accident not far from where my parents live. Not quite what I meant but ironic nonetheless.
Although I dispatch for the city, I am technically employed by the county and so of course I feel close to both agencies. This deputy brings us to a total of four for our week between the two of them.
I am 346% done with this week. The good news is that I have four days off coming up and I’m going to leave town so fast someone is going to have to call 911 to put out the fire behind me!
Hey ok so I have an awesome pic I took of my cad that I want to share but I need to blur some things out first. Does anyone know of a good app for that on the phone? I have an iPhone. Thanks!
Well my friends, appreciation week has come to an end, and honestly, I’m not even remotely sorry to see it go.
This week started off wonderfully, even though I was only present for the first part of it.
However, as I mentioned, on Wednesday our PSAP unexpectedly lost our colonel.
Then, last night we lost two more city officers. Though they were units from a different shift their deaths are weighing heavily on my mind. If you have been following me a while you will remember that this past September one of the officers on my channel was killed- I was at work that night and heard the whole thing on the radio. Honestly I have not fully made my peace with that incident, and now this.
My family on both sides is scattered across the country. I was raised by an officer and I have grown up with so so many “aunts” and “uncles” on the department. They are literally my family. Add in the emotional connection that we all develop with our blue family and even though I didn’t know either of them I still feel like I have lost a family member.
This is a dark week in my city. Please say a prayer for your officers (or whatever your appropriate denomination asks). Ask for them to be kept safe, ask for wisdom and judgement for them that they might make good, smart decisions. Ask for courage for them and for their families. And be thankful for every day or night that they return safely to their families. They spend every day knowingly, willingly placing themselves in potentially dangerous situations. It’s not for the money or the recognition or the thanks but for the betterment and protection of our society. Deaths are the exception and not the rule and yet somewhere everyday an officer is killed. For some officer somewhere out there, tomorrow will be his or her last. You never know who or when so be thankful for all the time they have, thank them, take care of them, be patient and be proud of the job that you do because they rely on you. You are an integral part of keeping them safe. I salute you.
Happy National Telecommunicator Appreciation Week.
I appreciate you.
Hey everyone! Day 3 of our festivities (and unfortunately my last, as tomorrow begins my ‘weekend.’)
Today we had a pitch in with more good food provided by our FOP and union and of course all of us! The police side was invited to vote for which fire/ems shift had the best window decorations. They chose to have each shift do their favorite movie. First was the Avengers, second was Alice in Wonderland, and third was Men in Black. I voted for Men in Black because their window was the best (despite the fact that I love the Avengers) and because I am a third shift spy.
The father of one of our supervisors owns a Hooters and he generously donated several “50 Free Wing” parties to be raffled off. Also raffled off were a free meal at McCallister’s Deli, one for Old Country Buffet, and at some point tonight an ice cream machine. I scored this awesome water bottle playing dispatch bingo but I was sorely tempted by a rubber ducky dressed as an officer that had the words “911 dispatchers quack me up!”
Sometimes I’m 10 years old. : )
Today is marred by the unexpected passing of our beloved Lt. Colonel over our communications division. He died this afternoon following complications during a routine shoulder surgery. He was a humble, compassionate, soft-spoken man unaffected by the politics that run rampant through law enforcement agencies. I haven’t been here long enough to know him personally but he always had a smile and a hello for us nonetheless. He was a pleasure to work for an will be greatly missed here.
Hope you all are enjoying it! Most of our festivities have been organized by a committee of police/ems dispatch and control with supervisor input and assistance. The supervisors usually have a hand in hooking us up with our various donated meals.
The way my PSAP is set up is that police is one side and fire/ems is on the other. We have glass windows and each shift on each side picks a theme and decorates their window. Last year was circus themed, and this year we have done a 50s diner theme. Everyone has a photo taken then our heads were all cut out and placed on little paper people. Each was decorated and put on the window! We also usually have a bake-off as well. Food throughout the week will be a combination of pitch-ins and meals provided by associated agencies and local businesses we serve.
Yesterday’s festivities included cupcakes for control made by my sergeant’s girlfriend and delicious pizza from a funky local little place provided by Motorola (who provides most of our radio equipment). One of our dispatchers engraved everyone’s name on a piece of silverware to keep in the locker (since we are all constantly looking for utensils) and our supervisors gave everyone a little baggie of candy. There was also the first of several trivia games with a gas card as a prize.
Thus far today we have had a cookout for both sides. The meat was provided by the city’s fire and ems services. The sides were a joint effort by our union and our local FOP. We are also playing dispatch bingo, with a table of prizes to choose from for the winners.
If you celebrate, who organizes your festivities? A committee or the managers? Was it formed by the dispatchers themselves or do the supervisors control it? Share your stories and tell us about it!
Stay tuned for more throughout the week!
Happy Public Safety Telecommunicator Week! (Especially to shitmycallerssay!)
At my psap, we celebrate several times so each of our platoons gets to take part. Today just so happens to be Alpha Platoon party day, so I’m a pretty happy camper.
Our county commissioners hand out awards to dispatchers who have earned special recognition, whether for successfully giving instructions for delivering babies or CPR, etc. They also secure us a donated lunch, and we have a cookout! This pleases me greatly, as my platoon is well known for our love of cooking out and celebrating every little thing (is it sunny tomorrow? We’re cooking out. Some random team playing a sport won? Time for ice cream!).
Here’s to hoping my lovely ems providers quiet down enough to let me enjoy lunch this afternoon. Last time we had a party, a mountain caught fire and that just isn’t conducive to eating a hot lunch.Edit: the director of my agency manned the grill for us today. Awesome.
I love it! We are pitch-in people too. Thanks for sharing! Sadly, I’m hearing that a lot of PSAPs are not recognizing their dispatchers. : ( I’m glad your agency is doing a little something!