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Somebody we forgot to thank

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  • Somebody we forgot to thank

    Today , I was talking to my significant other, who is a dispatcher for multiple fire agencies. She was telling me about a pediatric call she recently took. The call was for a child struck by a motorist and the call was from that motorist. The call was very traumatic for her. While she explained what happened, I realized how little we in the field think about what our dispathers go through daily.

    Later,I started reading some articles about WTC, the 911 cell phone calls and the trapped units calling for help on their radios. I started thinking about the men and women on the other end of those radios and phones. I can not begin to imagine how deevistating it must have been to listen to those cries for help and not be able to do anything.

    At any rate, I want to thank all the dispatchers. More often than not, they are forgotten while we ride the waves of glory. Without those people on the phones and the radios, we would be lost. So, then next time you get mad at them for waking you up at 3:00 AM for that B.S. call, just remember one thing. They are the ones looking out for ALL of us, civilians and field units alike.

    Stay safe

    [ 10-02-2001: Message edited by: firebear235 ]
    Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

  • #2
    There were a lot of heroes on that tragic day....the dispatchers, fire fighters, politicians, police officers, WTC security guards, brokers in the building, janitors, people on the street, army reserve people that ran into the building to pull people out, the people that overtook the hijacker on the ill fated flight that crashed into PA, etc. It is amazing what the body and mind can handle in a crisis like that....so many people reached out to others to save lives, and while we lost thousands, I feel it is a miracle that these heroes were able to save thousands of others from that horrible tragedy. My Fire Department had two guys that came close to loosing their lives that day..one was a block away in his car when both planes hit, he was cursing traffic because he was late for a meeting in the building next door to Tower 1...the second guy had been scheduled for a meeting in the WTC at 10am but heard the news and avoided the city. It is sad that it took so much destruction to see how strong the human spirit can be and to realize that there are every day heroes out there that don't wear a uniform or badge.
    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!


    • #3
      Good Job Firebear235! When i was learning to be a firefighter, I remember a couple times I cleared the base with things like "10-4" and other trucker talk i learned from having a CB. I hope the dispatchers had a good laugh, because they certainly need it.
      The worse dispatch I've heard personally was from a mutual aid departments' dispatcher. Her husband was having a heart attack. The panic in her voice was eery to say the least. Her husband passed away and she never dispatched again. Can't blame her!
      God Bless everyone in the service to others!
      See you on the big one!<br />Billy Reiter 1st Lieutenant/Chaplain available 24 7


      • #4
        I am told that once the cell towers were inoperable, a lot of the cellular 9-1-1 calls bounced to New Jersey depts. I hope that this trauma will not cause NY and NJ to lose dispatchers....
        The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!


        • #5
          I worked as a fire/ems/police dispatcher for 3.5 years before getting on the job full-time. Dispatching is a world that most don't understand (unless you've done it). I always felt a personal responsibility for every unit I had on the air. I can remember dispatching a medic unit to a shooting call... I was talking on one phone with the other city's police dispatcher when I heard one of their offices check on scene with shots fired at him. I called my unit who had already checked on scene... they didn't answer me. I called them several times with no answer. It is a sickening feeling to be in that situation. I was never more relieved to hear them answer me and let me know that the scene was now secure and no one else was injured.
          It is nerve wracking to have to listen to someone calling for help and know that you are their ONLY link to outside help. For me it was a challenge and a learning experience. I spent hours coming up with ways to be a better dispatcher. It has helped me in my career in the fire service more than I ever could have known.

          As far as this thread goes...
          yes. Dispatchers are unsung hero's. They are usually paid very poorly, they are usually not given the amount of training they should, and yes, some of them suck at the job, but when you get a dispatcher who loves and knows their work... your job just got a whole lot safer and easier.

          thanks dispatchers everywhere, you are not forgotten or unapreciated!

          be safe brothers
          Be safe brothers


          • #6

            I, for one , can say the last person I thought about was the dispatcher.


            I did landline one while enroute to the ground zero area, and told her, ' hey, calm down and remember this, . . . this is going to be a day remember for a long time. all we can do is roll with the punches, and hope that the best comes out. '

            God bless all Americans who have shed a tear, for those too strong to show a weakness to, and may He be by our sides as we crush those who oppose freedom!

            [ 10-03-2001: Message edited by: toneloc177 ]
            May God bless all the people and families who have lost
            their lives on 9-11-01, to those also lost on Flight 587, and to the rescuers who responded to both.

            "I'm not saying it's right, i'm just saying (the way it is)."

            FDNY-EMS - Still New York's Best!

            e-mail always accepted @
            [email protected]


            • #7
              Just to follow up on this post. I received an email from a friend who is a dispatcher. It is a copy of the CAD notes from the WTC disaster. Also CNN played live audio from radio traffic from units trapped in the collapse. It was heart breaking to hear the unit calling for help. The dispatcher, whoever he was, stayed calm and tried to help the trapped firefighter. I can't bring myself to listen to the audio clips on this site.

              At any rate, I can't say thank you enough to all dispatchers. I couldn't do what you guys do everyday.

              If anyone wants a copy of the CAD notes, you can email me. [email protected]

              Stay safe.
              Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten


              • #8
                I'm like you firebear235, I saw where the audio clips of distress calls were available to listen to, but I can't and won't. It's enough just seeing Flag draped stoke baskets being carried out.
                Be careful everyone and know that God is watching over us all!
                See you on the big one!<br />Billy Reiter 1st Lieutenant/Chaplain available 24 7


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