Within the Trenches (general)

podcastfeedLogoNewGood afternoon and this is episode 47 of Within the Trenches. It has been a couple of weeks since the last episode and I couldn’t wait any longer so I decided to record an episode. I wanted to keep it light so I pulled some 9-1-1 calls from YouTube. I pulled a couple from a channel that belongs to AmericanPride1234 and they are awesome! If you get the chance make sure to check out the channel and subscribe. I have been pretty busy with work lately and one of the weeks I was on the road I got very sick. I made sure to share the story so I hope you enjoy it.

There are more new episodes coming up so stay tuned! As always you can email the show at wttpodcast@gmail.com

Episode topics –

  • Stomach bug on the road
  • 9-1-1 tapes –
  • Kid calls 911 for help with math
  • Guy calls 911 for pot question
  • Guy gets junk stuck in pump
  • Joe vs. Deer 911 call
Direct download: WTTEP47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm EST

podcastfeedLogoNewToday’s episode of Within the Trenches touches on the topic of stress and physical and mental issues in 9-1-1. As 9-1-1 dispatchers, we have heard it all. We have taken every call from the most ridiculous to the most horrific. If you’re like me, the calls that involve children are the ones that affect you most. I once took a call from a nine-year-old girl who had come home from school and found her mom passed out in the living room. She told me that her mom was not moving and her face was blue. I told her how to do CPR and she did it the best she could until help arrived. Although she did a great job her mom had already passed. She had had an overdose and died long before her daughter got home. I remember the little girl being scared but never lost it. Maybe it was the shock of the situation. Whatever it was, it’s a call I’ll never forget.

Towards the end of my dispatch career I began to feel burnt out. I enjoyed my job but the politics, long hours, workplace drama and stress began to eat at me. It’s something that people don’t understand unless you have done the job. The stress can be so great that some dispatchers have crashed and burned. How come no one, other than the dispatchers themselves, have noticed or addressed this? It’s something that wasn’t out there before but within the past year there have been numerous news articles covering the constant stress and physical and mental state of 9-1-1 dispatchers.

Whitney and I have done episodes in the past about CISM and EMDR but I wanted to do another one. In this episode I spoke with Michelle, assistant professor with Northern Illinois University who has been doing research on 9-1-1 dispatchers for the past few years concentrating on mental and physical health. There is a lot to learn in this episode. There was so much we could touch on that we are going to do a second episode to cover the rest. Michelle’s research is ongoing and if you would like to participate you can do so by clicking the link below. There is also a description. As always you can email the show at wttpodcast@gmail.com.

911 Telecommunicators Study -

We are currently looking for participants to enroll in our current studies. We are recruiting experienced TCs (at least one year of experience as a TC) and they can be currently working, have left the occupation, or retired from the job.  Experienced TCs can complete a 1.5-2 hour survey online that they complete in multiple sittings. We are also doing follow up surveys that are much shorter (45 minutes) at 6 months and 12 months after the first survey. For each survey completed, the TC gets entered for a chance to win one of two $100 cash prizes. There will be three drawings - one after we're finished collecting the baseline survey, one after we're done collecting the 6 month survey, and one after the 12 month survey. The survey is hoping to get a good estimate of the psychological and physical health complaints of TCs and is a follow up to the pilot project. We're also hoping to understand much more about what predicts poor health over time for this population.

We also hope to enroll trainees. They just have to be within their first 4 months of training. These participants complete a 1.5-2 hour survey and get $30 for completing it, as well as a chance to win one of two $100 cash prizes. In addition, we do shorter follow up surveys (45 min in length) and hold drawings for each of the subsequent time points that a trainee completes the survey. We hope that they will stay enrolled, even if they do not complete training or leave the job. The survey is looking at factors that predict adverse mental health and job attrition over time to help improve training efforts, hiring practices, and telecommunicator well-being.

Episode topics –

  • Blue Mazda call
  • Michelle’s intro and research interest
  • What elements contribute to PTSD
  • And more
Direct download: WTTEP46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37am EST

podcastfeedLogoNewGood afternoon everyone and welcome back to another awesome episode of Within the Trenches. In this episode I hosted our first Google+ Hangout. This was a live broadcast and although we had some minor technical difficulties I feel that it worked out rather well. This episode featured Gary Allen, editor of Dispatch Monthly (911dispatch.com), Ryan, a 9-1-1 dispatcher out of Pennsylvania and our podcast promotion featured 911Trainer.com.

We suffered a minor audio issue with Ryan in the beginning so he signed out of the discussion but we will have him on another episode that will feature his 9-1-1 experience. Between Gary and I, we hit topics such as 9-1-1 call accuracy, text to

9-1-1, taking ridiculous calls and much more! Below you will find links to Gary’s website, our podcast promotion and other sites we discussed on the show. You will also find two videos below. The first video is of our Hangout and the second features a video I played on the show but did not show up to the viewers. So…ever wonder what text FROM 9-1-1 would look like? Well, the second video is a teaser and shows what some dispatchers in Indiana are already using. As always you can email the show at wttpodcast@gmail.com.

911Trainer.com – Web | Linkedin | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Dispatch Monthly – Web

Urgent Communications – Web

NTIA - Web

Episode topics –

  • An intro to Gary Allen of Dispatch Monthly
  • The release and controversy of the Newtown 9-1-1 tapes
  • The definition of “response time”
  • 9-1-1 call accuracy
  • FirstNet


Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:28pm EST

podcastfeedLogoNewGood evening folks and welcome back to another installment of Within the Trenches. One thing I have always wanted to do with this show is focus on dispatch stories, which I have done but I also want to start focusing on topic driven episodes. So far on the show we have taken on PTSD in dispatch, dispatch training standards and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).

Continuing with the focus on topic driven episodes, I got the chance to chat with Matt, Senior Director of Product Management for Smart911 by Rave Mobile Safety. In this episode we touch on what Smart911 does, how they started and how the program works. According to their website, “Smart911 is a free service that allows citizens across the U.S. to create a Safety Profile for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 to have in the event of an emergency.”

Make sure to listen and share with your friends and family. Also make sure to check out The Thin Gold Line on Facebook for 9-1-1 news, memes and discussion. Another source for 9-1-1 news, memes and discussion is Diary of a Mad Dispatcher. KMK, the pages creator recently wrote and published a book called, Endure (The Greyson-Slade Series). You can find it on Amazon so check it out!

Smart911 – Facebook | Twitter | Web

Diary of a Mad Dispatcher – Facebook | Amazon - Endure (The Greyson-Slade Series)

The Thin Gold Line - Facebook

Episode topics –

  • What is Smart911?
  • Where is Smart911 available?
  • Smart911 success story
  • Changes in 9-1-1 tech
  • The future of Smart911
Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP44.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49pm EST


Good morning and welcome back! Whitney and I finally got the chance to record episode 43 and this is a must listen and watch! In this episode we sat down with our good friend Matt to talk about ridiculous calls and non-emergency calls on emergency lines. Matt is a local police officer and since we have worked with him before we felt he would be best suited for this episode. We also visit inappropriate 9-1-1 "on hold" songs and share other funny stories. Get ready to be schooled and make sure to check out our podcast promotion featuring Facebook fan page 911 Dispatches From the Edge. This page is a good mixture of humor and seriousness. It's a place for 9-1-1 professionals to vent, network, share stories and more. Tune in next week when I sit down with Smart911 to share what they do for the public and dispatch. As always you can email the show at thejcast@thejabberlog.com. 

911 Dispatches From the Edge - Facebook

Episode topics -

  • Back to dispatch traffic
  • The infamous sniff
  • Ridiculous calls on 9-1-1
  • How Matt handles ridiculous calls
Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:44am EST

Good afternoon and welcome to another episode of Within the Trenches. In this episode we visit some calls from our past and I explain a few key stories from episode 40. We start off cracking up and it pretty much sets the tone for the entire episode. We also play a 9-1-1 tape that was featured in the season finale of A&E's Panic 9-1-1. This was also an episode that I was flown out for. I recorded a segment with them where I would be the stand in for the dispatcher in the tape but after a few attemtps to fit in my angle it did not work out. From what I was told my voice didn't match the dispatcher on the tape and once you hear it you will agree. Either way it was a great experience and I hope to help them out again. As always you can email the show at thejcast@thejabberlog.com and don't forget to check out the new t-shirt campaigns going on at teespring.com. Cheers!

Episode topics -

Tug of war stomach blow

Hamburger guy stench

"I shot him six times!" (9-1-1 tape)

Code 7 Apparel

*All tapes are from Dispatch Magazine Online's library

Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP42.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm EST

Good morning and welcome back to another excellent episode of the Within the Trenches podcast. This weeks podcast promotion features Diary of a Mad Dispatcher on Facebook! I will provide the link below and make sure to head over and ‘Like’ them. They are 66,000+ strong and adding more fans every day. The page is tailored to 9-1-1 dispatchers but anyone would be able to get the humor from this page.

With that said, this weeks episode features Jessica, a dispatcher with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona. Jessica’s interview was excellent and her stories are compelling. This is an episode you don’t want to miss! As always you can email the show at thejcast@thejabberlog.com.

Make sure to check out our t-shirt campaign! There are only eight days left so get yours today!

9-1-1 Dispatcher – It’s the real thing (t-shirt campaign)

Diary of a Mad Dispatcher – Facebook

Episode topics -

  • Jessica’s transition from military police to dispatch
  • Jessica’s first call and experience with a belligerent caller
  • The horror of hearing shots fired over the radio
  • A stranded hiker on top of a mountain
  • Advice for those looking to get into dispatching
Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:18am EST

Good morning! Whitney and I are back with an epic episode of Within the Trenches. In this episode we went back to basics and kept laughing and laughing. This is dispatch humor at its best folks! Yes, the humor is a little dark but people have to understand that in order to work as a 9-1-1 dispatcher you have to have a sense of humor or the job will eat you alive. You will not make it if you let the calls get to you. With that said we also listen to three tapes and tell stories from the trenches. Get ready to laugh and make sure to comment and share this episode. As always you can email the show at thejcast@thejabberlog.com.

Also make sure to support the show by checking out our t-shirt campaign at Teespring!

T-shirt campaign for “9-1-1 Dispatcher – It’s the real thing.” 

Episode topics -

  • Our delay between episodes
  • New job
  • Ricardo’s hernia story
  • Leg meat (yes…leg meat)
  • 9-1-1 tapes
Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:17am EST

Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:24pm EST

An excellent episode with the return of Whitney!

Direct download: WithintheTrenchesEP38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34pm EST