Nine One One

Kirke Wise, Two Way Radio Tech

Thought I would just send you the poem that I wrote for this week. You can see it on FB by this link or read below

Nine One One

Nine one one
Linking life out of death
On the worst days of life
A loved one’s last breath

All the First Responders
Will rush to keep you alive
Those people ready to help
They race so you survive

Firemen, Police, or EMTs
Coming to help on your darkest day
When tragedy brings us to our knees
Unseen Dispatchers direct their way

Carefully listening
Accessing the facts
Alerting responders
And covering their backs

Those terrible things
That can happen to you
Not only do they listen
They can feel it too

Even in the middle of the night
Sending help, right on the way
Always there to hold on tight
Hoping things turn out okay

They’re right there with you
Within your own fight
Doing their best
To help make it right

© 4-18 by Kirke Wise – Nine One One

This is something I wanted to write in observance of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Although emergency dispatchers are unseen, they all play such very large role in saving so many lives. As someone who is tasked with taking care of equipment and communications systems, I have had the opportunity to work these people at various different operations centers. It is a far more difficult, demanding, and stressful job than people may realize. So often, peoples very lives are in the balance. It’s all on the emergency operator to effectively get help on the way. Right away! To see past any confusions. To be able to evaluate situations and think on the fly. To completely change modes if everything suddenly goes wrong and takes a big turn for the worse… Because it does.

You might venture into a dispatch center someday and see an operator reading a book or something. You might think, how nice to have such a sedentary job. You would be wrong. I myself just fix things in various places and situations. Electronic equipment doesn’t scream. It doesn’t bleed out. It’s never involved in a traumatic life-changing accident. It never loses a child or a parent. It’s just stuff. But I can tell you first hand, the very many times I have been in a center an have seen how very difficult and heart wrenching their job can be. Everything can be perfectly calm, in fact getting boring. All it takes is a few more seconds and it can turn into someone’s biggest nightmare. From 0-100 just like that. Everything from all directions all going wrong. I have seen this. It is no small skill which allows them to do this job at times.

I have seen many looks on many faces over the years when things couldn’t be helped or people couldn’t be saved. What I am trying to say is that these mere dispatchers participate in your worst moments and tragedies. They can’t walk away from it. The live part of it themselves. Along with you. And they remember some of those things and carry it with them for a long time. I really have a great deal of respect for their commitment and ability to keep a cool head focus in the middle of the worst situations imaginable.. I know that I could never do it. That’s why I wanted to write this. ~ Kirke