Becoming 911 – The Beginning
I am sitting in my car… it’s 20 minutes before my first shift starts and I am terrified….
All at the same time.
The adrenaline that is already pumping through my body is on high alert and I try various ways of breathing in an attempt to calm my nerves down to a low shake.
I am about to change my entire being. In more ways then I could ever imagine.
To me at this moment I sit in the drivers seat and pull out “My Utmost for His Highest” a small devotional book that I read, before my shift…. Every night for over a year. It steadies my thought’s and keeps me focused.
What they must have thought, of me, on this first day of mine. This lady, starting her life over again and heading into a world that I have prayed for for the last 8 months…. I looked naive. Innocent. Vulnerable. I could only imagine what was going through their brains as I entered the doors…
But first, I needed to figure out how to actually get into the locked doors. My shift would start at 2130 hours and here I am walking up to locked doors with no buzzer or button, not even sure if I parked in the right parking lot.
Would they actually tow my car on the first day?
I finally, using my cell phone, called the main line, talking to a female that transferred me to a supervisor whom listened to me… “It’s me.. my first day today and I am not sure how to get in?”
“We’ll send someone up.”
The look on the person’s face that came up to get me, was telling. While she was very nice and in a hurry to get me in and drop me off into what was the briefing/break/locker room… She had a look of sizing me up… almost as if she was trying to place a bet on how long I would be staying. She was equally in a hurry to get back into this room that was….. Locked…. Leaving me, with many other people sitting at a long table…. Waiting….
It was the beginning.
In more way’s then I can express in one post… it was the beginning.
But for all of us, it was a path that everyone has to take if they want to work as a dispatcher in one of the largest cities in California.
Many ask me what it was like? How I liked it.. and the dreaded, rudest question of all… what was the worst call you ever took?
Which by the way…. No one should ever ask that question. Ever.
I will be uncovering it all. What training was like, what the shifts were like, and what my worst calls were like… the funniest calls, the comradery… The backstabbing…. And I won’t hold anything back. I won’t make it like the TV shows you see… or the movies with nice pretty endings…
Because in this line of work… There aren’t pretty endings… in fact, as a 911 dispatcher there are rarely ever endings at all….
So between the posts of book reviews and my thoughts on Christian living, homesteading and Marriage I hope that you will allow me to share brief moments of what it is like…. Training for and being a 911 dispatcher in a large city in California. What it’s like as a Christian bible study leader being thrown into the dark world of evil.. seeing things a normal church going gal could never in her worst day imagine could happen. What it’s like being yelled at one minute about how much of a pig cops are… and 10 minutes later getting that same person on the phone, after he’s been shot, listening to him gutterly breathing and pleading for you to send the officers…. As you spend the next several minutes trying to keep him alive long enough to tell the officers any shred of information as to who did this to him… as you try and get help to his location in hopes they can save his life. All the while, trying to ask him questions… grasping for any type of clue you can put in the call to assist officers in keeping them safe and assisting in capturing the suspect that was bold enough to shoot a gang member while sitting on his own front porch. In the middle of the night….
No… I don’t know if he made it. And for future sanity… you shouldn’t ask, or wonder that question from here on out.
I will tell you that my car was never towed…. And I did, eventually, get a parking pass.
I will label these posts with ‘Becoming 911:’ in the title. For those that don’t want to know the horror of the job… or have worked it and don’t want to relive it… please… bypass these posts if you want.
They won’t be for the faint at heart.
Again…. Trust me!
If you ever read the blog posts from The Dispatcher and Her Officer… One of the Top 10 Police/Dispatcher blogs in the early 2000’s, you will begin to notice a familiar tone. And I welcome you back. The officer may make his presence known from time to time. As he did back in the days… and I will be sharing the prior posts that we loved so well.