9-1-1; What Is Your Emergency?

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Dispatcher's Promise to Their Loved Ones

Taken from Police Link Website, training articles

Unknown author

This is going to be a strange title for a training article, but I wanted to provide something that I give to all my new trainees for their families. I believe it is a vital tool for a new telecommunicator to have. Just like all emergency responders, dispatchers also carry stress home with them at times. As hard as we may try, it still happens. This is a one page sheet I give them to give to their families that will hopefully help them understand the stress of their new career.


I became involved with emergency service work because there is a need for people to help others in trouble. Sometimes there are calls I receive, however, that are difficult to talk about--even with the people I love and trust most in the world.

There are, at times, experiences that hurt me very deeply, and I might bring my suffering home. Sometimes my feelings bother me so much that I can't even talk about them. Maybe it's because I don't want you to even imagine what I've suffered, or maybe it's because I'm afraid that you won't fully understand the depth of my feelings. During these times, I may become moody or irritable, and I may not seem to care much about your feelings or problems.

You love me for who I am. I chose to do what I do because it is so important to me and to those I help, and although it is sometimes difficult, I love what I do, and I do it well. I'm proud of what I am and I hope you are proud of me.

There are times, though, when I feel that I didn't do enough--so many people out there depend upon me; there are times when I get frustrated and even angry with my co-workers, myself and even the victims or tragedy. There are times that the horrors I have to deal with just overwhelm me. That's when I have to sort things out, by myself, or with others who were there with me.

So, please, if I have a really bad call and just can't talk, or seem irritable, it isn't because I don't love and care for you, it's not because I doubt your love and concern for me. I'm just not ready to open up. When this happens, don't try to understand, just accept the fact that I am hurting--and that I'll talk to you when I can.

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