Sunday, August 2, 2009

Not On My Watch

I yell and scream and gripe about this job a lot on this blog. That's why I created it. So I had a place to vent my anger and frustration. After all, this job is nothing but stress and trauma and drama.

But... ever so often... there is a call... that reminds you why you are here and going this job.

I played an important part of stopping a woman from committing suicide.

She called to let the agency know she was preparing to step in front of a train that was due shortly at her chosen location. She knew the schedule and knew approximately how fast it would be going. She just wanted us to know so we could respond quickly to help clean up the mess (which she apologized for) so others didn't have to see it or come up on it unexpectedly.

She was very matter-of-fact. Was talking very calmly. Explained why she felt it was the thing to do. How taking too many pills hadn't worked, just made her sick. And cutting her wrists only gave her new and additional scars. That this was the fastest and easiest way to do it.

I know in many ways it was my training that helped to keep her on the phone until officers arrived to get her the necessary help. Not my winning personality. I know that there is a good chance, a very good chance, she will eventually make good her attempt at suicide.

But it didn't happen that day on my watch.

1 comment:

Scott Pantall said...

It's always great when you can stall someone from committing suicide. I'm not sure if I've ever stopped anyone, but I've definitely stalled a few.

One of the weirdest things about this job is talking matter-of-factly to people who want to commit suicide, "So you want to throw yourself in front of a train? That's different. Tell me more." It's just weird.

People don't realize how often we go home from work feeling like we didn't make a difference. Dealing with the frequent fliers, the calls for domestic violence and runaways, and dealing with all the petty people, it's not as easy as we make it look.

Congrats on making a difference!