The challenges that come with serving as a 911 dispatcher are unlike those of any other profession. Conveying the nuances of the job can be difficult, but a few podcasts are making incredible strides in educating the public about 911. Not just for 911 novices, these channels also provide a valuable resource for dispatchers to share their experiences with others in the field.
The stories told in these podcasts are worth sharing with everyone–whether you’re fully-versed in the world of public safety or you’ve never even called 911. We’ve compiled a list of notable dispatcher and public safety-related podcasts that we highly recommend everyone listen to.
Within the Trenches
Ricardo Martinez, the host of Within the Trenches, was himself a 9-1-1 dispatcher for almost 13 years before starting this podcast. Now past its 150th episode, Within the Trenches has become a leading source on 911 and dispatch-related topics. While serious and informative, the show is also candid and, at times, even humorous, providing a well-rounded and insightful look into the dispatching profession. Ricardo is also the founder of #IAM911, a movement he started to raise awareness of the demands of dispatchers in the line of duty.
Noteworthy Episode: In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Martinez spoke with Dee, a dispatcher from Rockport, TX. Dee describes the harrowing experience of dispatching during one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history and the difficult times when she and other dispatchers had to say no to requests for help.
Dispatch in Depth
Dispatch in Depth is the official research podcast of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. Although relatively new, Dispatch in Depth has had a strong start, with episodes covering how to get research started within dispatch centers, as well as the role of dispatch in the debate surrounding police data.
Noteworthy Episode: Episode #5 provides useful insight into the role of research in dispatch centers and how centers can utilize research to change protocols.
The Dispatcher’s Chair – Outrageous 911
An oldie but a goodie. This podcast is from 2015, but it’s still reliable for a good laugh. Dispatchers get their fair share of ridiculous calls, and Outrageous 911 deals exclusively in the ridiculous. While the calls themselves are pretty wild, there are some heartwarming moments, too, when dispatchers show incredible compassion despite pretty unorthodox situations. The episodes are also just a few minutes long, so they’re perfect when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Noteworthy Episode: In one episode, a child frantically calls 911 because a toilet is overflowing.
The Urgent Communications Podcast
Public safety technology is absolutely critical to call takers’ and dispatchers’ ability to provide prompt and effective emergency response. The Urgent Communications Podcast follows developments in the technological infrastructure that powers our modern 9-1-1 system. Listeners will gain a better understanding of the technology connecting first responders with the PSAP. The podcast also features initiatives to improve 9-1-1 performance and reliability that can have a tangible impact on the day-to-day work of staff inside the PSAP.
Noteworthy Episode: TJ Kennedy spent decades as a first responder before leading FirstNet, the largest ever public-private partnership in US history. In this episode he explains his vision for the Internet of Life-Saving Things.
Inside EMS Podcast
9-1-1 dispatchers and call takers work extremely closely with first responders including emergency medical services. Inside EMS hosts valuable conversations on communication with other first responders, tips for medical response, and how to deal with confusing 9-1-1 calls.
Noteworthy Episode: The podcast listed the most baffling EMS calls of the year in this head-scratching episode.
E911 Talk Podcast
Mark Fletcher hones in on the technical side of 9-1-1 with this podcast dedicated to E911 news and analysis. From the deployment of new 9-1-1 pilot programs to more provocative conceptual technologies, Mark hosts an important program for PSAP professionals looking to learn about the future of 9-1-1.
Noteworthy Episode: PSAP technology experts will find the episode on open source PSAPs irresistible.
Have any other 911-related podcasts that you’d recommend? Tweet us at @RapidSOS or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org! And if you work in a PSAP, learn how you can get access to more accurate caller location and additional data with the free NG911 Clearinghouse from RapidSOS.