A Telecommunicator’s Vision

Columbia-Richland 911
Have you ever stopped to think,
What it’s like to be blind?
Only seeing the world around you,
Through the images in your mind.
With sight, we have been blessed,
Our world we plainly see;
Though, relating in a way,
To how blindness must truly be.
See, the job we do as Telecommunicators,
Our senses are used, indeed;
Expected to determine the circumstances,
Yet, not a glimpse to reveal the need.
Simply by answering the phone,
Sounds we hear, our only clue;
We must formulate an accurate account,
Preparing all, for what may ensue.
A variety of sounds and noises,
Differing vastly from call to call;
Thinking at the end of each tragedy,
“Surely now, we must’ve heard it all.”
From the faintest noises barely audible,
To screams nearly deafening to the ear;
Every sound you can imagine,
Still no images to make things clear.
Hearing arguments as they erupt,
Into violence and total mayhem;
Listening to this destruction,
With hopes to somehow comprehend.
Callers hysterically wailing,
Horrified from what they’ve found;
Not uttering a single word,
Leaving us to interpret their sounds.
Domestics that have gone awry,
Resulting in a gunshot blast;
Embedded in our memory,
Forever, now a part of our past.
Suicidal callers just wanting a friend,
Someone to listen and care;
Their actions so unpredictable,
Leaving the outcome, our burden to bare.
Though, often similar in nature,
Are many of the calls we receive;
There are those that remain inside of us,
That you still find hard to believe.
So, contrary to common belief,
Our job takes more than a voice;
Requiring the talent to envision a situation,
From nothing short of mere noise.
      by- Heather Collins