The movement continues...

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2018 was an amazing year for the #IAM911 movement, the Within the Trenches podcast and especially for those who make up the Thin Gold Line. There is so much to talk about that I don’t even know where to start but the year started out with the beginning of the Imagine Listening tour. Imagine Listening is an extension of the podcast that features the stories of the movement. It started out as a way to get more exposure by reading stories on podcast episodes but evolved into a live audience peer support session at different state conferences.

Each session is an hour or so long and the first half allows dispatchers to share their #IAM911 stories whether it be out loud or written down to be read out loud by myself or my co-presenter. Attendees of this session earn themselves an official #IAM911 challenge coin. After an emotionally intense first half we laugh it off in the second half by sharing funny and outrageous 9-1-1 stories and calls. The session is a hit and has helped many dispatch professionals find closure in not only sharing their stories but listening to others and relating to similar situations. It is hard to explain the feeling of being in a room of individuals who can relate to each story, find a form a closure and realize that we are not alone in this profession.

Imagine Listening saw its first national stage back in August at the APCO conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both sessions were standing room only and were met with rave reviews. Imagine Listening debuted at the 2017 Indiana NENA/APCO conference and the tour began in 2018. The session has been presented in Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Las Vegas (2), Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, and Illinois. The tour continues into 2019 traveling across the United States as well as the national stage at the NAVIGATOR conference and NENA. The demand for this continues to grow as dispatch continues to be in the spotlight. More and more media outlets are recognizing the hard work that 9-1-1 professionals do on a daily basis. This also covers the stress that takes a toll on them.

ATTN:, a media company that sees millions of views on their videos across their social media outlets wanted to create a video explaining what dispatchers go through during a call and how, “We should value 911 dispatchers.” The video features myself and my good friend Ryan Dedmon of the 911 Training Institute and Kim Turner, LLC. This video has been viewed 3.9 million times.

The 9-1-1 profession continues to grow in value and how they are seen in public safety. They are the most vital piece of the emergency process and the eyes and ears of those around the world have been opened. The proof is shown below from heavy listenership to light on the map regarding podcast stats.

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It’s amazing to see how far the podcast has spread. This includes the stories of the #IAM911 movement. I want to thank all of you for making 2018 such a great year. I met up with old friends and made so many new friends and I cherish each and every moment we spent together this year. It’s humbling to receive so much support from all of you. If it wasn’t for your support of the movement, sharing your stories and listening to the podcast, as well as attending my sessions, this entire project I started back in 2010 would be nothing. I am forever grateful. 2018 was amazing but you haven’t seen nothing yet. There is so much more in the works and you are going to love it. Happy New Year and stay safe!

Ricardo Martinez IIComment