Friday, September 9, 2011

Time To Reiterate

This was part of my very first blog. And due to recent calls, time to reiterate (repeat for those who get tired of my using big words):

Remember: 9-1-1 is for life or death or crimes in progress EMERGENCIES ONLY!

If you can remember four small rules when you call 9-1-1 for help, it is much easier on you and the Dispatcher you are talking to:

#1 - In ten words or less, tell the Dispatcher what the emergency is.

"I was in an accident"

"There is a house on fire"

"I need an ambulance"

#2 - Tell the Dispatcher where you are.

Location, location, location. At all times be aware of where you are.

Whether it is confirming your home address, or the major streets

where the accident happened. Pay attention to your surroundings

and be prepared to say where the location is.

#3 - Shut Up!

There is no nice way to say this. It is now time to be quiet

so the Dispatcher can ask the questions and gather the important

information from you. You want to tell them everything, but

there are pieces of information we need to know NOW. You

can share the rest of the story later.

#4 - Breathe!!

Don't forget to breathe! You're heart is racing, the adrenaline is

pumping! And it's hard to think when all the blood is racing

to your vital organs in preparation for fight or flight, a natural

physio response. But the Dispatcher needs your blood going

to your head and brain so they can get the information they need

for the officers. Remember to take a deep breath. And another.

Awwww...... feel much better. Now, if I could only get this information into the hands of those idiots who call 9-1-1 because they're too lazy to look up the non-emergency phone number or keep the phones (cell and landline) out of the reach of little kids who like to press buttons. There are play phones out there you can give kids to play with that won't waste so much of my time. Your fix-it ticket is not an emergency, even if you have to be in traffic court tomorrow about it.

Am I right Fellow Dispatchers?!?!?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stress Relievers

We know our job is full of doom and gloom, trauma and drama. Inside the department and with our citizens. Let's face it, people don't call us because they are having a great day and want to share good news with us. We deal with phone call after phone call of pain, anger, fear, confusion. Radio traffic full of responding to calls for service, traffic stops, and keeping track of our boys and girls in cars helping citizens on the streets.

So I ask you, how do you relieve the stress of your job?

Have a co-worker who runs (or walks very quickly) the stairs of a major university football stadium. Another rides for miles and miles on bikes. One spends hours looking through the world of a camera lens and photographing gorgeous scenery.

Had a co-worker who knitted during her shift (knew how irritating the caller was by how fast her needles were flying) and did woodwork at home. Was always remodeling and reworking something for her home; her haven.

Then there are those co-workers (present and past) who are rude to officers, ruder to callers, and down right rude and snippy to co-workers. Guess that's how they relieve their stress - give it to others.

I do needlework, like crocheting, needlepoint, cross stitch, embroidery, by the hour. Also love to do home repairs (even have my own power tools) and paint rooms. I also am very active in my community through volunteer work. Believe if you're not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

Let's face it world, we all have stress. But as dispatchers we have it much much more than the average person. Yes, I know, physical movement, like exercise, it a healthier way to relieve the stress. But yuck, I want something to show for my time. Something I can point at and say I created that, I painted that, I fixed that.

Here is a great article about different forms of stress relievers:

As I said earlier, had a question for you dear reader. How do you relieve the stress of your job? What helps you sleep? What keeps you sane (well, keeps you off the edge)?