The unseen hero…Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Everyday I get to come to work and do great work, I get to share my passion for caring with my coworkers, callers, and road officers. I am the calm in the storm when the public is having a bad day. I am your dispatcher. I am the unseen hero.
Most people will tell you they came to dispatch because it was a calling, I am here to be honest and say I stumbled into this profession on accident. After years of being a cake decorator I felt stuck in my career and felt I wasn’t moving forward as I wanted to. A friend posted a job advertisement with a local agency and it felt like a sign of change to come. I was nervous to start over in a new career but felt dispatching was the fast-paced job I was looking for, and on my first day I knew for sure I was going to stay. I came in my first day and watched as two senior dispatchers handled a call of a young child that was struck by lightening was not breathing. I was hooked. The way they processed information, handled radio traffic, and calmed down a hysterical caller was so impressive I knew I wanted to stay and become a well-trained dispatcher. It turned on a passion inside me that I never knew was there.
That passion turned out to be much needed when I took the worst call of my career so far. There is nothing more heart wrenching than taking a call from a desperate mother, to hear a mother call out for help reference her child not breathing could shake anyone to their core. Its one reason I answer the call every day. I took a call from a mother advising her child was not breathing, we began CPR as my partner dispatched but I knew in my heart it was too late. I stayed on the phone with the mother the entire time doing CPR until first responders could take over, I then hung up and sobbed at my station. My heart was broken. I walked away that day defeated, feeling as if I had failed my community, I had failed that mother. I made the decision to return to work after a long night of holding my own children a little too tight, but with a new sense of passion. I know as mother how scary it is to not have control over a situation and to have to reach out for help in a desperate situation. I felt the pain this mother felt, I too had lost a child and felt for her even long after the caller ended. I wanted to be the calm in the storm for mothers. I take each call and I handle it with care, I always picture myself on the other end of the line and talk to my callers accordingly. Whether it’s a simple crash or a missing child my passion to care is always the same. Callers deserve our very best day in and day out and I am honored to share that passion with my team as well as callers.
911 dispatching isn’t for the weak and I’m proud to come in everyday and show my passion for my career. Everyday is a new experience and I’m proud to be a part of a team that’s ready and willing to help our community and be better than we were yesterday. You may not see us, but you hear us, we are the calm in the storm.