Bob turned the story over to reporter Trish Regan who had spent the day with an emergency services crew in New York City to see how people there were handling the heat. I must admit that I was rather surprised not to see a group of street-tough New Yorkers standing on the corner telling the news crew "So what it's hot?? Fuggudaboutit!" but people looking like they were ready to melt into the sidewalks. New Yorkers, in my mind, can handle just about anything thrown at them so if they're saying it's hot then you better believe it's hot!
According to the rather cool-looking Ms. Regan, 911 calls had risen 20% from normal in the Big Apple and this was going to be the 5th busiest day on record for them. My heart goes out to the men and women who staff those centers as I'm sure that a 20% rise in calls puts an already busy city pretty close to being over the edge and I've no doubt that, despite the air-conditioning, it was not a great day to be at work.
Those of us who choose this profession probably have a screw loose somewhere but we also know that we are an integral part of society. Without someone to answer 911 there is no one to send police, fire, or medical personnel where they're needed. People seem to forget that small fact and when the weather is like it is or another tragedy befalls them it seems that we're the first one that people yell at as if we had some sort of magical control over the universe and life. Thankfully, though, we're trained professionals and we understand that when the adrenalin starts pumping people don't always act their best. We're there to help - regardless.
Reporter Regan ended her broadcast tonight with a rather ominous note for those of us who work in 911 centers and for the people we dispatch ... "because it's only August, the forecast for 911 centers and emergency services workers will remain stressful and busy as they try to guard people against all this heat." That doesn't exactly bode well for the rest of the summer but as I said, we're there to help - regardless. Stay hydrated and stay cool as best you can. And remember, winter's only four months away!