A Message to 9-1-1 from a Former 9-1-1 Dispatcher

by Hfbtech

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Karin Marquez is the Director of Customer Success at RapidSOS. She previously served as the supervisor of the City of Westminster Emergency Communications Center from 2004 to 2018. Karin is currently running for the position of Private Sector Director for NENA.

I want to take a minute to give a huge shout out to all 9-1-1 professionals that are working through incredible circumstances during a crisis not seen in our lifetime. 

As a former 9-1-1er myself, I have always believed they are the first line of first responders. I have witnessed or heard of so many of my friends, coworkers, and colleagues doing amazing work answering horrific calls, but still returning to the center each day, ready to help the next person in need.

We want you to know that we are thinking about you. We’re supporting efforts to help reclassify 9-1-1 telecommunicators like yourself to get you access to the same resources as field responders. At RapidSOS, we want to help support you as best as we can, so we are also working behind the scenes to increase our resources and availability of team members to you.

You are experiencing unprecedented times. Everyone in the center, including your admins, is trying to understand what to do next, how to help each other, and how to keep sane when callers need an update on the toilet paper situation, all while anxiously going back and forth to work long shifts and numerous hours of overtime.   

This is your time to shine – you can’t work from home, and you can’t let your fear and anxiety come across to those needing help. Your community looks to you for reassurance that someone is going to help them in an emergency. They look to you for the answers when you may not have them, and even though you may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, you know you have to keep doing your job. 

Keep being a professional that serves with compassion, empathy, and a commitment to be your best every day. Be there for each other –  support each other regardless of title or position. Seek out resources to keep your body and mind healthy during this time. Reach out to someone if you feel like you need to talk, dump your “bucket” so you don’t become overwhelmed holding it all in. If your agency does not have resources, the RapidSOS Customer Success team is here for you. We have all been in the center and behind the headset before, and are happy to support you as best as we can during these times.

Keep rocking it y’all, you will come through this stronger than ever and have powerful stories to share that will become lessons learned. Don’t forget that you are amazing, you are needed and you CAN get through this!

On behalf of everyone here at RapidSOS,
Thank you 9-1-1.

Karin Marquez & the entire team at RapidSOS

Watch National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week 2020