Opinions

BCLA privileged to honors emergency responders | Opinion (KS)

To the Editor,Did you know Brown County has 279 emergency responder positions filled? Did you know that in addition to community fire departments, police departments, dispatch, the sheriff’s department and our county wide ambulance service, we also have a mounted search and rescue team (which uses horses & riders to search off the beaten path during an emergency) and Squad 48 (which extract people from vehicle accidents & other emergencies requiring special equipment)?The men and women doing these jobs are not doing it for fame and fortune. They are doing it because they feel called to serve and protect their community…to make it a better and safer place for themselves, their families and ALL of us.BCLA was privileged to honor Brown County’s 279 emergency responders on Patriot Day – Saturday, September 11, 2021. On a day filled with much emotion – the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – we remembered those that gave the ultimate sacrifice at the World Trade Center in New York City. Then we said thank you to our Brown County First Responders because we never know when that opportunity could be taken from us.THANK YOU to the almost 200 people who participated in the procession and ceremony and another approximately 70 people who took advantage of the World Trade Center Virtual Tour at Arrow Twin Theatre. If you were unable to attend Saturday’s events, we encourage you to take a moment, pick a specific emergency responder &/or a department and send a handwritten thank you to them. Brown County departments honored on Saturday included:Everest Fire DepartmentFairview Fire DepartmentHiawatha Fire DepartmentRescue Squad 48 & Town & Country EMSHorton Fire DepartmentIoway Tribal Fire DepartmentKickapoo Tribal Fire DepartmentMorrill Fire DepartmentPowhattan Fire DepartmentRobinson Fire DepartmentBrown County Sheriff, Dispatchers & Mounted Search & RescueHiawatha PoliceHorton Police & DispatchersIoway Tribal Law EnforcementKickapoo Tribal Law EnforcementReginal Highway TroopersSac & Fox Tribal Law EnforcementIf you were unable to see the Virtual Tour we invite you to visit this link so you can watch from home. The link will be active through Sunday, September 19. https://www.911memorial.org/demand-tours PASSWORD: NC9DNVWe also want to give a BIG THANK YOU to the other groups and individuals who helped make these Patriot Day events possible:Lingling (Rachel) Zhang, Arrow Twin TheatreLynn Allen, Brown County Historical SocietyWilliam Geisendorf, Hiawatha Family DentistryBrad Unruh & Monte Unruh, Jackrabbit CoffeeLauren Lock, McDonald’sMatt Bartlett, SonicJoan Stoller, American Heritage Girls Troop #KS2315Laura Hooper, Scout Troop #313Matthew Leahy, Hiawatha High ArtKarie Covert, Hiawatha Middle ArtMike Dunaway, Zion Lutheran ChurchRichard Lehmkuhl, Eternal HopeSteve Stoller, Sabetha Thrivent FinancialSpencer Madison, vocalistSarah Kleopfer, vocalistJudy Bruning, pianistJoey May, Hiawatha WorldHorton HeadlightHiawatha Kiwanis ClubBrown County CommissionersHiawatha City CommissionersBrown County Home GuardBlake Ezra Burton Memorial FundSubmitted by: Brown County Liberty Alliance – Patriot Day CommitteeJerry & Jeanette AllerStuart & Amanda AllerLucas & Kendra HeinenBrian & Annette Hoskins

Beyond the Comfort Zone

Samantha Hawkins Every 911 operator has that call that will demand more of them than usual … this was mine. I was the second 911 operator she had spoken with that morning. Only six minutes into our phone conversation on that 911 line, I had determined that she very...

They Have Your Six

Michael Mendoza

No matter the agency, we all have the officer that complains that
we are picking on them. We all know it’s mainly because it’s in their beat or
sector or they are the closest unit. It’s also because we are too busy with pending calls to care if their
feelings are hurt. A few of us make these officers feel our wrath by sending
them from one side of town to the other, fielding every report under the sun.
How many of us are envisioning the officer we want to do that to?

Ultimately, we all want every one of our officers to go home, and
we all want to catch the bad guy and be the best dispatcher we can be for our
residents, right?

In 2010, my agency went through some changes. Uncomfortable
changes I couldn’t get past. My lack of maturity and perspective got me in
trouble, and I decided to leave. A few years went by and I had to grow up. What
I learned was that in the end, the only one that had control over my life and
my future was me. I returned to the career I loved and from that point on I
decided I was going to outlive the BS.

Seven years later, several people in my agency are unhappy and
quitting. Reflecting on my unhappier times, I, like many of my current co-workers,
would project the blame of my problems onto others, believing they’re picking
on me. After this reflection I realized that every time I was acting out or
complaining, I was being the jerk officer grumbling about my dispatcher.

On the flip side, one of our officers will go through calls, clearing
them as quickly as possible, and we seldom hear a complaint. She just does her
job. Unfortunately, we take advantage of this type of officer. Like her, once I
was back in the headset again, I dove in headfirst, going above and beyond with
every opportunity I could. I got overwhelmed. I was doing great at work, but I
wasn’t doing so great at home. At that point, I decided I was just going to dispatch.

As dispatchers we are seldom thinking about the environment that
we are creating for our responders. We’re constantly focused on our duties, forcing
responders to milk calls to take care of their personal needs. That’s the
environment we create. We’re focused on the task at hand and less on the hands
that take care of the task.

We all have a dispatcher in our lives. For some of us it’s a supervisor,
sergeant, or even the dispatch manager. We get frustrated because they don’t
see it from our end. They don’t understand our needs. We fail to realize that they’re
our dispatchers; not literally, but they’re focused on the task at hand and
less on the hand that takes care of the task.

None of this is meant for you to go home and fix everything.

The purpose is for you to have a little more understanding, compassion,
and perspective.

Understand there’s always another motivation but the end goal is
still the same—to give the best service to the citizens that you are there to serve
and protect.  

If you are the employee: You’re not just another butt in a seat, you are someone’s hero and protector. You have their six. Likewise, understand that your supervisor or manager (or whoever) is your dispatcher, and they’ve got your six too.

About the Author

Michael Mendoza is a Texas Master Telecommunicator with over 10 years in the industry and Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TCOLE) certified trainer.

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