It was 18:00; thus the start of my shift
I just wanted to get through it without any
As I sat there quietly, I knew it had begun
Precisely at that moment the 1st 911 had
No one would answer when I asked; the
emergency and the address
911 hang up call, would have been my first
I once again asked; 911, is anyone there?
“I am here”, said a small voice, that
sounded very scared.
“Mommy and Daddy are fighting, Daddy’s
I am so very frightened, he cried and also
“I am in Mommy’s room; I am hiding under her
I am on Mommy’s cell phone, I hope it does
not go dead.”
He sounded very fragile, that tiny voice in
I would do everything in my power with all
of my might.
I obtained his address, his phone number,
and then I got his name
I was really amazed at this child who was
being so very brave.
With everything he told me and the sounds
that I could hear
Both adults physically fighting, broken
glass that was clear.
Through it all I kept talking to him, I was
all that he had
He was my eyes and ears in the room, the
situation was very bad.
I told him I would not leave him, if he had
to put down the phone,
I told him don’t hang up, so I could hear,
and he would not be alone
I told him they were coming, that the
officers would help him
He thought the reason they were fighting was
all because of him.
I told him to stay calm, and pretend I was
in the room with him
This helped calm him over the yelling, and
the things being broken
The officer yelled the child’s name, his
voice sounded like thunder
The child yelled, “Here I am! See the bed?
Please take a look under.”
The child said, “He’s really here, you did
it”.. and then he said “Thank you.”
It was in that moment I knew that’s why I do
what I do.
Officers arrived and calmed everyone, the
child was found safe and alive
The length of this call, the total minutes
were only about 5.
It always feels like a lifetime passes, with
each call like this we take
It does not matter the type of call, or the
decisions we have to make.
These calls can be difficult and emotionally
We can only do the best we can and rely on
After the call I stepped away for a moment
It was good to get my head on straight and
also to de-stress.
I walked outside and smiled, relaxed as I
cleared my head
I did everything within my power, that much
could be said.
This is the profession I have chosen, each
day a brand new call
Each call may be different, but you learn to
handle them all.
My goal is to have fun, work hard, and to do
Then safely go home to my family, not to
dwell on the stress.
We do this for hours and hours; sometimes it
never seems to end
The next day we then head back to work, to
begin it once again.
Is the life of a Dispatcher, you know our
voices but never see us
We could be standing right next to you in a
store or riding the bus.
Dispatchers are an important part of the
team, usually forgotten and far away
When it comes to debriefings and
compliments, we’re not included and have no
We gather the info, and dispatch the help so
they can get to you
We are the true first responders, the glue
between the red and blue.
Thomas Nedzbala began his career in
emergency services in Florence, New Jersery,
in 1980. He moved to Arizona in 1993
where he has held several positions
providing dispatch services for police,
fire, medical and air medical communications