Note: This being National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week, I thought that I'd go back through some of the old posts that I've written in regards to dispatching and post them over again. Some of them you may remember, some of them may be brand new to you, and some of them are almost-new to me as I sure the heck don't remember writing them! Today's post is from Thursday, April 17th, 2008.
My internet connection has been doing some hinky things the last two days so as I'm writing this post I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that the connection will last until I can get through it. In speaking to the good folks at Tech Support at AT&T this morning we have come to the conclusion that my modem, which is four years old, is probably in need of replacement so I've got a new one ordered but it won't arrive until Monday. Until then, my DSL is going to be sort of like a magic act - now you have it, now you don't! So, if I don't get around to everyone's blogs (or catch up with the various games I have going on over at Facebook) it's not that I don't want to but that I cahn't get theyah from heeah as they say in Maine!
Now, technical issues and excuses aside, I first off want to thank everyone for the thanks and best wishes that they have left in comments in regards to this being National Telecommunicator Week. I was telling Mimi the other day that when I make mention of the fact that it is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week I almost feel like I'm throwing that out there so that people will say "Oh! Thank you for the job you do!" but that's not the case at all. I mention it because I want people to be aware that there are some truly fantastic people who play a major role behind the scenes (or behind the phone and radio lines) that are very rarely thought of - never mind thanked. I don't do it for me, I do it for every man or woman who has ever answered a phone with the words "911, what's the address of your emergency?" because - honest to God - we never know what that emergency is going to be and how it's going to affect us. And affect us it does. I have taken more calls home with me then I care to remember and there are those that haunt me to this day but this profession chose me (do you think anyone in their right mind would actually choose this profession themselves?!?) and it's what I do. There are times I like to think I do it well but then there are probably more times when I question my ability - as well as sanity! - in doing it.
Anyhow, to get off of my soap box now - this week has been wonderful. I was able to attend a great Telecommunicator Conference on Monday where I got to eat some darned fine prime rib and listen to one of the most dynamic speakers I've heard in a long time. Kevin Willetts, a dispatch supervisor from the Redwood City Police Department in California, is the kind of supervisor that every dispatcher would love to have and he was not only extremely funny but extremely inspiring. He makes me proud to be a dispatcher though there are times when I want to run screaming from the room . The man could probably do a complete stand up comedy act on "You Might Be a Dispatcher If ..." (but unless the audience was made up entirely of dispatchers as it mostly was on Monday you probably wouldn't get it). I honestly haven't laughed that much in a long time and I want to thank my company for sending me to the conference. It was more than worth the 100 mile round-trip drive.
Speaking of my company, they have been plying us with edible goodies this past week that have ranged from muffins and bagels to veggie platters to this fantastic fruit and cheese platter you see here to pizza and salads from one of my favorite pizza places. If there's one thing that we dispatchers appreciate it's food and we've been having some really good stuff this week!
In addition to that, one of my favorite EMTs, who happens to be just too cute for words (I swear, they never made guys that looked like that when I was that age!), brought me up some cookies and chocolate covered pretzels yesterday along with a hug and a kiss. I shared the cookies, brought the pretzels home for myself, and cherished the hug and kiss. Seth - don't feel like you need to wait for a special week to do that again!