Saturday, August 6, 2016

We Don't See You: Back the Blue Part II

We don’t see you.  You are hidden in a dark dungeon on sunny days while others are out playing and taking in a few rays. When their fun becomes tragic, you are the first one to comfort, guide, and instruct. But we don’t see you doing that. You are hidden.

We don’t see you. A woman’s husband is coming after her in a drunken rage. You strive to calm her as you tell her where to safely hide while she waits for officers to arrive. And when you disconnect with her, you worry about her welfare. The woman is rescued. Her neighbors watch her as her husband in placed in the back of a patrol unit.  But no one sees that you set all of that into motion.

We don’t see you. Multiple fire units, EMS personnel, and law enforcement officers converge on a home that is fully involved. Flames are visible and the smoke can be seen for miles. Somehow firefighters stationed all over the county arrived to do their part. Such careful coordination was not an accident. You toned them. You acknowledged the departure and arrival of every single apparatus.  And in some cases, you toned a second time. And when the structure is saved, we failed to see what you contributed to that valiant effort. 

We don’t see you. We don’t see you multitasking. You are running driver’s licenses and plates, talking on the radio, talking on the phone, helping a co-worker, checking the status of officers out on a serious call, and occasionally taking a restroom break in the midst of it all. But even those you are serving fail to see what they experience looks like.

We don’t see you. We don’t see you experiencing the emotion that comes from communicating with distraught, hurting, and overwhelmed citizens. You are the first one to hear the bad news but often the last one to be made aware of the outcome of the call. We don’t see you.  We are out in the field working and we fail to remember that you are hurting behind the door that leads to the dungeon.

We don’t see you. You are our dispatchers. You answer 911. You dispatch police officers and do your best to guard their safety. You send EMS to every imaginable medical emergency and coach the citizens they plan to serve until they make scene. You send firefighters to lift assists and to tragic car crashes. And you do it all behind closed doors…

We don’t see you, but we acknowledge your service. We appreciate your attention to our safety. We are grateful for your multitasking skills that far out distance what any of us could do!  Your compassionate spirit to the desperate reminds us to act likewise. You are hidden away serving with no fanfare.  Such a task is reserved for the most humble among us. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for who you are.  We appreciate you and we love you. May God bless our dispatchers. 

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