Saturday, December 4, 2010

Can't we all just get along! *Vent warning*

Can't we all just get along!!

Thus was the reoccurring theme of my last night shift. For about four hours it was back to back 911 calls, over flow 911 calls, alarm calls, non emerge calls all screaming to be answered and to top it off we were short staffed. A bare skeleton crew we did what we could with what we had and sometimes it wasn't a pretty sight. People I knew to be strong people looked weak and broken and one strong introvert was actually crying and had to take five. There was no relief in those four hours when Crazy Town blew up in a hell fury. I don't even exaggerate a little, we had murder calls, robbery calls, physical disturbances, serious motor vehicle accidents with injuries, weapons calls. Every call was serious. All but one which was a noise compliant call on 911 to which I had actually 'raised my voice' at him. I transferred him off 911, apologized and then so did he. I explained we were flat out and that 911 couldn't be used for that purpose. Didn't get to take his noise complaint as we were still flat out and he ended up hanging up.

I was exhausted, my head was pounding something awful, my chest hurt, my back hurt and I was actually losing my voice. It seemed like I had to ask every single question at least three times to either get an answer or the appropriate answer. Like 'what kind of knife' and the answer being, 'I have employees.' Fail! I fail you!

Our murder call was brutal and had hollers over the dispatch air and dozens of officers all talking at once, trying to get critical information in. A co-worker, AP, the one who cried took the blunt of that call trying to get information from a woman who seemed to be only capable of saying 'get them here now!' and then hanging up. I was trying to help her, calling for ambulance, updating them and handling that side but it was clear the whole night was starting to chip away at her. After the call, she needed five. I don't blame her. It was bad. She also had chest pains though,headaches, arm pains and felt sick. Turns out there were four of us with the same symptoms. You can only throw so much at people, we were at our limit and still going further. I am very proud of my team, because we did it. Hurt like hell but it got done.

One weapons call I took could have been very serious and gruesome. It could have been down right deadly, murder of at least two people. Thankfully the suspects stupidity saved them. He had come to their store armed with a very long knife and seemed to be high. He was stabbing at the door trying to push it open. God knows what exactly he had planned. Robbery? Intimidation? Murder? He eventually gave up because he couldn't get the door open and the owner was on the phone with me. He took off running. The store owner was upset, obviously because the door was unlocked. It was a pull door, not a push door. If the suspect had just taken a second to pull the door he would have gotten in and I would have had a different call.

Things started calming down, thank god. It seems right at the point when we physically and mentally could not take anymore calls it stopped. Flat out the phones stopped ringing, all at once.
It was funny, one of my coworkers shot up and yelled for the supervisor, saying the phones were broken. We actually all checked our phones and yup they were working, just no calls. whew. It was at this point everyone broke out the pills, ran for bathroom breaks we'd been holding off on, getting water and getting a bit to eat. Our symptoms began to fade and we were still tired but feeling more capable now. One of my coworkers, who wasn't from our watch but ordered in, started talking about a murder last cycle. It was one I was involved with and I found, strangely enough, that it bothered me to hear about it. To even hear her go over the details made my stomach and chest hurt all over again, I guess I wasn't ready to hear it again. I felt so bad about that call, like I hadn't been able to do enough to save that victim, though I understand there was nothing more I could do. There was no saving the vic even if ambulance and police teleported there. He was dead before I got him. Just things you think about.

I don't know what the heck is happening in our city these last few cycles, the calls are intense and numerous, the powers that be in the offices are breathing down our necks and scolding us for every trivial detail. We have a new superintendent that is taking care of our division who has made it clear in the past that he does not like our department. Him overseeing us was not his choice and from his rude emails to us, tell us it's going to be a long while before we can lift our heads up at all. I miss our old superintendent, he defended us from our departments, the public, to his own superiors. He actually came in and got to know us, chatted with us. When we had a serious forest fire last year and we were having a nutso gonzo night, he brought us pizza and his dog came to visit! He also was there for me personally. While I was on one of the first rounds of medications (they were trying different ones to see which would work) I began to be affected by it and not in a good way. I don't really remember much of that day because apparently I looked stoned, I was crying over everything and as the day went on I looked more and more like death warmed over. I had been yjacking that day, thank god I wasn't on calls and had left the floor for a few minutes. Apparently I was pacing in the hallway when he saw me. I remember this part vaguely. I just remember he was able to 'herd' me into the locker room and make me realize that I was not me and that I was not okay. He also ordered me to be seen by a doctor right that very second. We compromised, I went to a walk in clinic and not the hospital. He got a co-worker to drive me and I ended up being off for two days until the medication was out of my system. I also wasn't allowed to be alone in that time so I stayed with my mother. He was there for me when I needed him, so he will be missed. This new superintendent has my doubts but I believe people can change. Got to give him a chance ... well another chance I guess.

I have to laugh, it's a means of survival for me. By the end of the day your grammar goes out the window. A caller had said he was robbed but then described his apartment broken into. In our area a robbery is theft plus either weapons or intimidation. Someone breaking into your apartment is just a B&E. I had asked this gentleman. "So was your apartment broken into or was you robbed?' My hand covered my mouth. "Was you robbed?" Oh god my English teacher would beat me if she heard that, thankfully my caller didn't seem to.

Well that was my vent, I love my job, I do. Some days though it feels the need to test me, to test all of us there. We did it, so I guess we passed.


  1. Wow *HUGS* I heard about the murder I was hoping you weren't on when the call came in *snuggles*

    and LOL! Damn right your English teacher would kick your ass... ahah but she was just awesome like that!

    *pets* if it helps i'm getting ready to mail your bus to you...


  2. I am little dark cloud, I attract those types of calls. Turns out when my dad was also in dispatch they called him dark cloud, thus why I am little.

    Yeah she was pretty awesome, one of my favourites.

    Wooo bus!! I am entitled to a parking spot at my building so I will put it there. I can go on the road in it!