Monday, February 25, 2013

A&E Show "Panic 9-1-1"

I can't take credit for bringing this to anyone's attention.  Reader Conceita sent me the information back in November.  Sorry Conceita it took me so long to acknowledge.  A&E PRESENTS THE NEW ORIGINAL REAL LIFE SERIES "PANIC 9-1-1" TRUE CRIME THRILLER FOLLOWS REAL 9-1-1 CALLS THREE ONE-HOUR EPISODES PREMIERE THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 AT 10PM ET/PT

New York, NY - November 12, 2012 - A&E takes 9-1-1 calls to a whole new level in the new original real life series "PANIC 9-1-1." Using audio from real 9-1-1 calls to narrate the story, "PANIC 9-1-1" lets viewers experience every harrowing and terrifying moment of the callers' ordeals. Three one-hour episodes begin Thursday, November 29 at 10PM ET/PT.

More than half a million 9-1-1 calls are made every day in the U.S. For many, the dispatcher is the only link between life and death. One part thriller and one part true-crime show, each episode of "PANIC 9-1-1" features audio from real, urgent 9-1-1 calls between emergency dispatchers and frantic callers as life-and-death situations unfold around them in real time. Each call is a race against time where every second counts and getting the right details is crucial. Enhanced by stylized recreations and interviews with witnesses, officers, call dispatchers and, in some cases, the callers themselves, "PANIC 9-1-1" keeps the viewer guessing until the last second. Who lives and who dies remains a mystery until the very end.

In the premiere episode of "PANIC 9-1-1," emergency dispatchers in California receive an urgent call from a terrified single mother reporting an unknown intruder in her home. In Illinois, a lone gunman begins shooting a gun in a sporting goods store, and the store's manager must choose whether to flee the scene or stay on the line in order to save those around him. On a dark night in Oklahoma, a grandmother faces the grim possibility of using deadly force to protect herself from an intruder while she waits for police to arrive on the scene.

"PANIC 9-1-1" is produced for A&E Network by Sirens Media. Executive producers for Sirens Media are Valerie Haselton Drescher and Rebecca Toth Diefenbach. Anne S. Rothwell is co-executive producer. Executive producers for A&E are David McKillop, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Holcman.

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Okay, advertisement is over.  Now the reason for this post.

Shortly after I read Conceita's comment to me, that the show sounds interesting and promising, I saw a commercial for the upcoming show.  They played a part of a taped 9-1-1 call.  And I got physically ill.

There are a couple shows on A&E my husband likes to watch.  So the channel is on the home television with some regularity (not as much as the History Channel, but regularly).  Whenever the commercial comes on, I change the channel.

Naturally, I had to start analyzing why I was feeling this way.  On just a commercial.   

Yes, I am sure some of it is my PTSD.  Even though I haven't seen a commercial for awhile, it took me three months just to write about it.  And my stomach is churning and I see my legs are a bit restless.

Just the first commercial brought back memories of some horrific calls I have taken over the years.  My first thought was not, "Oh, do I have a call (or two) that might interest you, A&E".  No, my first thought was, "I'm gonna be sick."

I am glad that the media is showing the general citizenry a piece of what our work lives are like.  I haven't seen a single show, but I really hope they are able to educate people about the stress these calls bring to the dispatcher.  And how little support and assistance is given to the dispatcher who is an auditory witness to life at its worst and at death.

"Over half a million 9-1-1 calls are made every day in the U.S.  For many, the dispatcher is the only link between life and death."

I wish our Supervisors and Brass would sit up and take notice of that statistic and fact.  Yes, many of those half a million plus 9-1-1 calls are not an emergency.  But they can be wearing.  Especially when it truly is life and death. 

And WE DISPATCHERS are the first and major link to getting help to the citizen calling and the officer responding to the call for help.

I hope A&E Producers of "Panic 9-1-1" truly highlight the facts of our job and not just sensationalize the trauma and drama of the calls AND not focus so much of the officers response but puts the spotlight on the dispatcher who made the intelligent and fast and sharp and perceptive decisions to answer the call for help.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Over Time / OT

Yes, something we've all dealt with.  Sometimes it is voluntary.  Many times it is not.

At my old agency, there was tons of it.  Usually worked 45 hours a week, minimum.  Hardly ever worked only 40 hours.  Anything less than 45 hours of trauma and drama was a light week.  By contract we were limited to a top of 60 hours of hard labor (my words, not the MOU) a week.  Can't remember how many of those I worked.  Simply, too many.

But, at my new agency, I typically work a 40 hour week.  Rarely work 44 hours.  But.... the last few weeks, due to illnesses and vacations and jury duty, I have worked 48-52 hours. 

And boy, am I feeling it!

I have gotten very spoiled with the 40 hour work week.  I miss my 4/10 work schedule, but really enjoying a regular sized work week. 

But the 44 hour work week three weeks ago, 52 hour week two weeks ago, 44 hours last week, and 48 hours this week (so far), I am exhausted!  And the headaches are back.

At my old agency I really developed a headache problem.  Probably from working as many hours as I did.  Plus, I needed glasses.  (Vanity issue, yes)  But I don't remember feeling quite as exhausted as I have the last few weeks.

-No comments from the peanut gallery that I am older now and thus more likely to get tired more easily.-

I just know that after two years of working for a smaller agency, and not dealing with all the overtime on a weekly basis, I got very comfortable with my 40 hour work week.

And really complaining because I'm not working a 40 hours work week. 

Sheesh.  I need to get a life.