Tuesday, March 11, 2008

About the Job

Dispatching is unique because in few other professions do you have so much influence on human life. It's also not a job most kids growing up think about. I've never heard a kid who didn't have a dispatcher in the family, say they wanted to be a 911 dispatcher when they grew up.

Yet a dispatcher has tremendous influence over the outcome of an emergency incident. For instance, a sharp-thinking dispatcher who takes the time to ask why the patient is bleeding profusely may discover that he has a knife, has slashed his wrists, and is threatening to take as many cops as he can with him when he dies. An unobservant or untrained dispatcher might never ask the question.

Dispatchers are the first people on scene of an emergency, and don't let anyone tell you differently. Just ask the dispatcher who EMDs (Emergency Medical Dispatch--trained dispatchers give medical instructions over the phone) a baby's birth successfully, or the unfortunate dispatcher who is the last person to speak to the poor soul who calls to say "I'm committing suicide at ______" and then pulls the trigger while on the phone, all because he doesn't want his body to rot where it falls.

These dispatchers are there, and they are just as much affected as the paramedics and firefighters who arrive in person to care for their patients.

Our dispatchers have worked a motor vehicle rollover where the car caught fire. The two occupants were trapped in the vehicle by the damage done in the rollover. Every time the frantic officer, who had used up his fire extinguisher in vain, keyed up the radio, the dispatchers could hear the men screaming as they burned. These screams, coupled with the officer's panicky anguish, will echo in the dispatchers' mind for a long time, possibly forever. They may not have seen the car, but they were there. In some ways, what we imagine is worse than the actual scene.

Yet we must go on, answering more mundane calls for service. Someone's in someone else's parking spot. Someone's roommate stole an iPod. The rest of the world doesn't stop for the two lost souls in the car. And so we answer the phone again. And again. And again. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year.

Welcome to dispatch.


Someday, I'd like to write a book and have it published.

Someday, I'd like to save someone's life.

Someday, I want to achieve inner peace and keep it for more than one or two days.

Maybe...inner peace comes to those who don't chase it.

Maybe...it's something to be practiced instead.

One thing I've learned is that confidence needs to come from within.

True confidence cannot be given by someone else.

You have to know, deep down in your heart, that it is ok to be the person you are. You do not have to apologize for yourself to anyone.

I have the right to be loved and accepted for who I am.

I have the right to choose who I have in my life, and by whom I am influenced.

I don't have to be a slave to anyone or to anything.

I choose.

I choose peace.

I choose to keep fire in my heart, as impetus for passion.

I choose to have peace and passion co-exist in me.

I choose to wear my hair color as a symbol of my passion for life, my passion for peace, my passion for justice.

I choose to love myself, imperfect though I am, because God loves me.

There's a church sign down the street from my house that says "God's mercy is bigger than your greatest sin."

Isn't it a beautiful fact of life that that's true for all of us?

Some people's greatest sin is that they don't believe that statement.

Freedom of Choice.

Peace, people. Just be at peace. God is at peace. Why shouldn't we be at peace?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I went to the fastest wedding on record last night--it took a mere five minutes from the beginning to the end. I kid you not. It was the second marriage for both, so maybe they both thought they knew the drill. Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful, the bride cried and looked lovely in her dress, and he was handsome in his tux. But 5 minutes? Holy cow.

As part of my job we have to watch prisoners on camera. It seems to me, that if you are in jail, yelling about how you want your phone call is not going to get it faster. After the first time you've made your request, isn't it kind of obvious what you want? It's like they're 5 years old and whining for a new toy, and they think if they whine enough Mom and Dad will give in. I guess it's not getting past that mentality that lands them in jail.

I don't know how I stayed in touch with my friends without text messaging. I have a friend from middle school whom I've started texting with, and I quite enjoy our text conversations. I wish I had started texting her before now. Think of all the time we've lost! We both have kids so it's too hard to carry on a phone conversation without "MOMMY" on both ends, but texting allows us to do it on our terms and not be interrupted. What a great invention. And to think, when I first heard of it, I pooh-poohed it. I thought it would never catch on. OOPS.

Does anyone else think that Hillary's campaign would go much better if she gagged her husband and threw him in a closet?

I guess that's enough random for now. Here's a shout-out for my friend Kaihea, who's been in the hospital for a staggering six weeks trying to recuperate from complications from her cancer fight. Kaihea, I'm visualizing you cancer and pain free RIGHT NOW!! Take care of you...

Love to all