Posted by Dr. Kelly R. Rasmussen


The job of an emergency dispatcher starts out as one of amazement! It's the coolest job ever and the new dispatcher eagerly jumps in and begins to learn! Never mind all of the weird shifts and stuff like that, it's cool! It is addictive! You hear so many things that people would not believe even if you told them. They would think you were making it up!

Then the newbie goes home and tells family and friends how cool the job is and about all of the neat things that come with it. The idea that you can listen in to people's lives and hear such detail about everything from fights, to medicals, to sex acts, to conditions and relationships; it is the "Reality" before there was Reality TV.  Only they cannot come close on television. This is real life!

And, at first, the emergency dispatcher tolerates the swearing, the cussing, the threats, the degradation in between all of the heroic saves. They simply place a brick, on the ground, in front of them. And so it goes. An officer critique, (place a brick) a supervisor's stern response (place a brick), a co-worker's sudden demonizing taunt (place a brick), a caller who claims they pay your wage, (place a brick).

Then the emergency dispatcher goes home and tries to make it all go away. They get quiet, or try to get away, (place a brick). And the world swarms them with the "other" happenings, (place a brick). The lives of their loved ones come with their own intricate pluses and minuses. Only the dispatcher cannot make sense of it, (place a brick). They transition into "work mode" and try to fix it to make it go away. They throw a resource at it so someone else can fix it. They try, and try, and try, until they are out of options, out of sleep, out of energy and out of focus, (place a brick). The bricks line up and become a wall.

Then they go back to work. They are ordered to stay over for overtime (out of their control). They add a brick, because they cannot cope. They have no strength to fight or make it different, and the bricks are getting to high to see over or around. They spin around to see who can help out, only the wall is all around them and in a weird sense, it insulates from the bad, the ugly, the mean. 

Only they do not see that the brick wall that encloses them does not allow anyone to reach them either. So they fight at the wall, the spin and yell, and become negative - spitting and cursing and crying out. WHY DOESN'T ANYONE HEAR? 

You ask - WHY are they so NEGATIVE? 
Here's a better question - "What Happened?" 

NOBODY begins in the 911 job to become negative. Nobody says I am going to do this job to become hateful and mean and negative so that my insides burst with poison and toxins. NOBODY. The job can take a bad turn and before they know it, they've become the caller. 

Before you know it, negativity prevails and now the dispatcher goes home and a loved one says, "I don't even know you anymore." Damn those bricks!!!

Just call me Dr. Kelly :)
Dr. Kelly R. Rasmussen