Monday, April 8, 2013

Just a Disptatcher?

Excuse me!?!?


Today I got an inbox message from a fan. The things she wrote about really hurt my heart for her. She works in a PSAP that has dispatchers separated from call takers. It got me thinking. The more I thought the more offended I was for her.

I work in a 911 center that requires all employees to do it all. We answer incoming emergency and non emergency phone lines while manning our dispatch consoles. There is a small exception to this rule, the busiest law consoles are not required to answer the phones. We are all cross trained for Law, Fire and EMS and take our turns rotating thru all of the consoles.

In her note to me she writes how she would like to be able to wear Mad Dispatcher Gear. She says that if she wore a shirt that had the word Dispatcher on it to work, the “real dispatchers” would make unfriendly comments about it. She tells me that she is proud of the job that she does but is reminded by the dispatchers that she “is just an operator”

WAIT JUST A COTTON PICKIN MINUTE!!!!!!!!!
JUST an Operator!!!!
I think my head might just Explode!
We are NEVER ever JUST an anything!

Every one of us provides a vital part of Emergency communications. The  Call taker that gathers vital information for the dispatchers/responding units, provides calm and control to her callers on scene, pre arrival medical instructions & so much more. To the dispatcher that sends out the Officers, Medics and Firefighters keeping them informed, safe & so much more.
I know if any of the units I dispatch were to tell me I was “just a Dispatcher”  my head would implode.

I am willing to bet these “real Dispatchers” would blow a frackin’ gasket if one of their units called them “just a dispatcher” , they should extend the same courtesy  they expect to the people they work with as well. For shame on them!!

With this in mind, never fear call takers! There will be a shirt designed just for you. You are a vital link in communications and a lifeline. Never JUST an anything!!!  

4 comments:

~*~ Allison ~*~ said...

Our call takers are just as important as the dispatchers. I rely on CT to get as much info as possible so I can pass it in. Call takers must remain calm in every situation. Just last night a CT took a call from a 12yoa girl who found her father after he hung himself. CT did a phenomenal job staying calm and kept the caller calm too. We do this job TOGETHER!

Janell Sherley said...

I have worked in agencies where both were together as one position and not. However if the "just an operator" doesn't get the vital info then the "dispatcher" is not any better. That dispatcher relays all info that operator obtains. We are all a link in the response chain, and we are only as good as our weakest link.

classigrl said...

I completely agree with you!!! The task of a call taker is no less important than the dispatcher who sends the calls out. She should be able to wear one of those shirts with pride!

Sean Dos Santos said...

I would say you are a telecommunicator and not a dispatcher. A dispatcher sends taxi's.

Sean