One chance - An #IAM911 Story
One of the most important things about being a 911 dispatcher is safety. On so many levels. We have to have 3 sets of ears to hear what the caller is telling us, while listening to the background noise & radio traffic all at the same time. We have to make sure that we pass along all of the critical details. The suspect has a weapon. There is a person trapped on the 2nd floor of that house on fire. The patient took bath salts & is now hallucinating & combative. There is a warrant for the passenger of that vehicle.
But even when we do everything right- things can still go wrong. We can't protect our officers from drunk drivers on the road or the guy in the back seat on a traffic stop who is armed. We can't protect our firefighters from collapsing floors or roofs. We can't be with our EMTs/paramedics when they approach a dark house for a patient having chest pain & they don't know who or what is behind that door. All we can do is wait and pray that it's just another "routine" stop or another fire or another patient.
We have to speak vehicle/foot pursuit-because when their adrenaline is pumping & they are screaming on the radio we don't have the luxury of asking for a repeat. We have ONE CHANCE to get it right.
We have to understand a MAYDAY call from a firefighter in full SCBA-because even though it's muffled & hard to understand we don't have the luxury of asking for a repeat. We have ONE CHANCE to get it right.
We have to know where everyone is and what they are doing at all times. We have to worry about them when they may not be able to worry about themselves. We know -always- that it is our responsibility to bring them home safe. We owe that to them. To their families. To the communities that they protect & serve. But in the back of our minds we will always know that we might not be able to. We shoulder that risk. That stress. That worry. Every day. Every shift. Every call.
#iam911 #notasecretary #definitelyessential