What does it feel like to be a 911 dispatcher?
Check it out and add your own thoughts in the comments
By EMS1 Staff
A question posted recently on Quora asked, “What does it feel like to be a 911 dispatcher?” Logan Hendrickson, an emergency medical dispatcher, gave his opinion on the topic below. Check it out and add your own thoughts in the comments.
Everyone has a way of dealing with stress. I grew up with my father being a county officer and got the ideology that "bad things happen all the time, there isn't much you can do to prevent it." Meaning yes, the job is stressful at times, but it isn't a personal issue. I feel sorry for the people involved with whatever is happening at the time. However, other than doing my job as efficiently as possible, there isn't much room to go above and beyond.
I personally consider myself able to walk out of work, get in my car and think: "Okay time to start over....Good afternoon me, shall we have dinner?" I do work 12-hour shifts which just becomes draining. Some of my friends have visited and wonder how I can be so tired when a majority of the time you aren't doing a whole lot. But it's the times that the job requires you to be alert and efficient that gets your adrenaline moving. And just like it, it goes away. Having that situation happen over and over again can mentally and physically drain you.
At the end of my day, I go home and want to be left alone until I sleep. The days I have off, I am a normal person of society and a very social person. Keeping your patience is a skill learned through experience on the job.
You will have difficult callers and situations. It's being able to recognize that you are that person's lifeline and they are relying on you to be patient and calm to get them the help they need. You do end up caring for every caller that you talk to, however that "caring" mentality might not last much past the call. The situations come and go and letting every call get to you will only stress you out.
A lot of dispatchers develop a humor that the general public would consider offensive. They just might not understand that with a lot of stress you need ways to get rid of it. Over time, I have had hard times finding when I am morally offended because of what I've had to endure at my job.