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Old 12-14-2006, 12:12 AM
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Default Dispatcher's Poem

A Birmingham South Precinct Officer sent this to me. Since there are several present and former dispatchers in here, I thought you guys would enjoy it. So, true...


Dispatchers Poem

I Take A Breath As I Sit Down,
God Give Me Strength To Make This Round
So Many Lives, I Hold In Hand,
So Many People With Demands.

My First Call, A Child Is Screaming,
Daddy's Beating Mom And She's Not Breathing.
It's Hard To Deal With And Stay Calm,
The Child Yells, "Dad's Got A Gun!"

I Have To Take Control And Say,
Please Slow Down They're On Their Way
As I Dispatch To My Deputies, "10-33,
There Are Weapons"

Ten Thousand Things Rush Through My Head,
God I Pray She's Not Dead.
Stay On The Phone And Talk To Me,
As I Rise To My Feet.

The Cops Are Here The Child Is Saying,
Stay On The Line As I Start Praying.
"Be Advised He Has A Gun,
And He Also Has His Son."

Now I Have An Open Line,
Just A Dispatcher In The Blind
"Dispatch," I Heard Him Say,
"His Name Is Teddy And He's Okay."

They Clear The Scene From The Call,
Not One Deputy Had To Fall.
I Take A Breath As I Sit Down,
Thank You God, We Made That Round.

I'm Just A Dispatcher, Can't You See
Just A Lifeline Between You And Me.
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Old 12-14-2006, 8:30 AM
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Default Another "Dispatchers' Poem"...

This was written in honor of a dispatcher who passed in 2000...

WHEN THEY LISTEN TO THE RADIO,

DO THEY HEAR THE PERSON WHO'S TALKING?

OR DO THEY MERELY HEAR THE VOICE?

DO THEY HEAR THE EMOTIONS WE FEEL?

DO THEY HEAR WHEN WE'RE SMILING AT WHAT WE'RE BEING TOLD?

DO THEY HERE WHEN WE'RE FRUSTRATED BECAUSE WE CAN'T COPY THEM?

CAN THEY HEAR WHEN WE'VE BECOME UPSET BY A CALL?

CAN THEY HEAR THE TEARS WELLING IN OUR EYES WHEN WE'VE TAKEN A DISTRESSING CALL?

CAN THEY HEAR WHEN WE'RE ANXIOUS ABOUT THEIR SAFETY?

CAN THEY HEAR HOW MUCH WE WORRY ABOUT THEM?

MOST OF ALL, DO THEY HEAR THE REAL PERSON BEHIND THAT VOICE ON THE RADIO?
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:25 PM
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Indeed....

The dispatcher is the unsung hero, A lot of times, when scanning, our local dispatcher does status checks on an officer when dispatched somewhere, and often times the officer will bark a reply.

The day an officer becomes in trouble, they'l realize why exactly a status check is done.
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Old 12-14-2006, 1:08 PM
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Default Dispatchers

Before I became sick 3 years ago, I did some Ambulance dispatching and enjoyed it throughly. I've done LOTS of scanner listening in several markets thruout the south in the last 25 years, but I think we have some of the best right here in Alabama. The State Trooper dispatchers in Decatur and Birmingham are good, BIRMINGHAMDISPTACHER who posts on this forum is VERY Good, but I think one of the best is Sam (I think his last name is Mask) has to go down as one of the greats. He usually works second shift for Jefferson County S.O. 1:30-9:30, and he knows how to do it. Give him a listen, as well as Dave-Birminghamdispatcher on 1st shift.
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Old 12-14-2006, 2:13 PM
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Clay, thanks for the compliments. Yes, Sam is good... he worked here for a while before going to the county. However, they tell me the greatest dispatcher that ever lived, worked here in Birmingham years ago. His name was Frank. I remember hearing him in the early 80's.
If an officer did not know where an address was, Frank did..... Frank knew where everything was..... regardless of which precinct it was in. He could give cross streets and landmarks to anywhere. Knowledge like this is only gained by riding the city and remembering everything.
Frank passed away due to brain cancer, I hate that I never got to meet him.
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Old 12-14-2006, 2:46 PM
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I can't say enough good things about dispatchers. They really are our lifeline out on the street. I was saved from serious injury (and maybe death) by a dispatcher who was able to "feel" the call and advise me she thought the subject had a weapon, even though he never mentioned one. I was able to keep the guy talking from the front porch while other deputies were able to enter from the back and take him down. Sure enough, he had a 12 gauge sawed-off pointed right at the front door and there's no doubt in my mind he would have shot me if I had done a normal knock and talk.

So. for all the times the cops on the street give you DS's grief, you can rest assured we depend on you and trust you more than we can ever say. And, if you work a system with in-car CAD, you can give us grief right back. We usually deserve. it.
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Old 12-15-2006, 1:39 PM
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Yeah i'm glad they don't have that worthless nincompoop that used to work at hank's and bfrs on the radio anymore. That nut didn't know his a** from a hole in the ground. A real disgrace to the dispatch world.
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Old 12-15-2006, 3:30 PM
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yeah... I know what you mean!!!!!!!!!!!! lol.

Just kidding..... that guy is in my top three of Worlds Best Dispatchers. kia580.
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Old 12-15-2006, 9:16 PM
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I have the utmost respect for dispatchers. They are one of the most essential parts to saving a life.
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Old 12-16-2006, 1:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl
Yeah i'm glad they don't have that worthless nincompoop that used to work at hank's and bfrs on the radio anymore. That nut didn't know his a** from a hole in the ground. A real disgrace to the dispatch world.
You've got to be kidding! You're the one who knew which tree to turn next to in Shelby County and which bar to turn past in Bessemer. That's great in my book. I never understood how you knew where every landmark was.
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Old 12-19-2006, 7:55 PM
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I was referencing police dispatchers.
Yes, Carl, you were really good with directions as well. Thank goodness I never worked West because you would have probably had to tell me where anything and EVERYTHING was. (That is of course except Bev health care West... we ALL knew where THAT one was)
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Old 12-19-2006, 8:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHAMDISPATCHER
I was referencing police dispatchers.
Yes, Carl, you were really good with directions as well. Thank goodness I never worked West because you would have probably had to tell me where anything and EVERYTHING was. (That is of course except Bev health care West... we ALL knew where THAT one was)
that's ok... the only place us "West boys" knew out East was Medical Center East and we needed a map for that!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and that you all get to spend time with your families rather than work. For those who have to work, thank you! You aren't forgotten about.
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Old 12-21-2006, 9:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave911
You've got to be kidding! You're the one who knew which tree to turn next to in Shelby County and which bar to turn past in Bessemer. That's great in my book. I never understood how you knew where every landmark was.
The knowledge of giving accurate directions came from many thousand miles of riding around at my own expense and burning many a tank of gas. noting scadrillions of roads,communities,towns, cross streets, back alleys, pig trails and address numbering systems and landmarks in jefferson as well as other counties. All for a company who never appreciated the the expertise.
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Old 12-21-2006, 7:20 PM
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I kinda know how you feel Carl. Not so much as knowing the geography, but in the sense of "putting your all" into your work, doing a good job, avoiding being 'written up' by following the rules and in general ... behaving like you should. And still, I make the same amount of money as the person who DOESNT do all that. Granted, I knew when I took the job that equal pay was part of the deal, but seems like some 'perks' could be in there somewhere.

Celebration of National Dispatchers Week..... huh? Whats that?!?!?!??
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Old 12-21-2006, 7:39 PM
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Speaking of National Dispatchers Week, aka National Telecommunicators Week, aka International Telecommunicators Week.... whatever the he** you want it to be, the following has been around for years, but still a good read.


A Tribute To Dispatchers

By Chief Thomas Wagoner
Loveland (Colo.) Police Department

Someone once asked me if I thought that answering telephones for a living was a profession. I said, "I thought it was a calling."

And so is dispatching. I have found in my law enforcement career that dispatchers are the unsung heroes of public safety. They miss the excitement of riding in a speeding car with lights flashing and sirens wailing. They can only hear of the bright orange flames leaping from a burning building. They do not get to see the joy on the face of worried parents as they see their child begin breathing on its own, after it has been given CPR.

Dispatchers sit in darkened rooms looking at computer screens and talking to voices from faces they never see. It's like reading a lot of books, but only half of each one.

Dispatchers connect the anxious conversations of terrified victims, angry informants, suicidal citizens and grouchy officers. They are the calming influence of all of them-the quiet, competent voices in the night that provide the pillars for the bridges of sanity and safety. They are expected to gather information from highly agitated people who can't remember where they live, what their name is, or what they just saw. And then, they are to calmly provide all that information to the officers, firefighters, or paramedics without error the first time and every time.

Dispatchers are expected to be able to do five things at once-and do them well. While questioning a frantic caller, they must type the information into a computer, tip off another dispatcher, put another caller on hold, and listen to an officer run a plate for a parking problem. To miss the plate numbers is to raise the officer's ire; to miss the caller's information may be to endanger the same officer's life. But, the officer will never understand that.

Dispatchers have two constant companions, other dispatchers and stress. They depend on one, and try to ignore the other. they are chastened by upset callers, taken for granted by the public, and criticized by the officers. The rewards they get are inexpensive and infrequent, except for the satisfaction they feel at the end of a shift, having done what they were expected to do.

Dispatchers come in all shapes and sizes, all races, both sexes, and all ages. They are blondes, and brunettes, and redheads. They are quiet and outgoing, single, or married, plain, beautiful, or handsome. No two are alike, yet they are all the same.

They are people who were selected in a difficult hiring process to do an impossible job. They are as different as snowflakes, but they have one thing in common. They care about people and they enjoy being the lifeline of society-that steady voice in a storm-the one who knows how to handle every emergency and does it with style and grace; and, uncompromised competence.

Dispatchers play many roles: therapist, doctor, lawyer, teacher, weatherman, guidance counselor, psychologist, priest, secretary, supervisor, politician, and reporter. And few people must jump through the emotional hoops on the trip through the joy of one caller's birthday party, to the fear of another caller's burglary in progress, to the anger of a neighbor blocked in their drive, and back to the birthday caller all in a two-minute time frame. The emotional rollercoaster rolls to a stop after an 8 or 10 hour shift, and they are expected to walk down to their car with steady feet and no queasiness in their stomach-because they are dispatchers. If they hold it in, they are too closed. If they talk about it, they are a whiner. If it bothers them, it adds more stress. If it doesn't, they question themselves, wondering why.

Dispatchers are expected to have:

the compassion of Mother Theresa
the wisdom of Solomon
the interviewing skills of Oprah Winfrey
the gentleness of Florence Nightingale
the patience of Job
the voice of Barbara Streisand
the knowledge of Einstein
the answers of Ann Landers
the humor of David Letterman
the investigative skills of Sgt. Joe Friday
the looks of Melanie Griffith or Don Johnson
the faith of Billy Graham
the energy of Charo
and the endurance of the Energizer Bunny
Is it any wonder that many drop out during training? It is a unique and talented person who can do this job and do it well. And, it is fitting and proper that we take a few minutes or hours this week to honor you for the job that each of you do. That recognition is overdue and it is insufficient. But, it is sincere.

I have tried to do your job, and I have failed. It takes a special person with unique skills. I admire you and I thank you for the thankless job you do. You are heroes, and I am proud to work with you.

[This piece was written by Chief Wagoner in 1994 in connection with National Telecommunicator Week. He has graciously allowed us to post it here, and gives others permission to use it for non-commercial purposes.]
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