Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More things I've learned at work

Every time I go to work I learn something new. And what kind of person would I be if I kept that knowledge to myself? So I'm going to share it with you.

#1 If you are old enough to buy a car and drive a car and use a car...KNOW WHAT KIND OF CAR YOU DRIVE!! If you don't know the make and/or model of your own car, don't get behind the wheel!

#2 Also, I don't care what the "technical" color of your car is. I want red, blue, green, purple, white, tan. Don't tell me burgandy or amethist or champagne. I don't care! Think about the rainbow, add white, tan and black and choose from those colors only!

#3 Do not call 911 and tell me there is a problem and then say "never mind!" If you call me, you are getting an officer. Bottom line.

#4 If your phone just "accidentally" calls 911, please just stay on the line and tell me it was an accident. And if you don't stay on the line and I end up calling you back, don't yell at me for calling you and tell me your phone didn't call. How do you think I got your phone number? I didn't just make it up or pick one out of the phone book, regardless of what you think!

#5 If you lock your keys in your car, or your car gets broken into, or you're a victim of any other type of crime, call the police. YOURSELF! Don't have your boyfriend/girlfriend call and then stand in the background and tell them everything. If you're the one with all of the answers, make the call yourself. It will save us both alot of time!

#6 If you are the victim of a crime, don't wait 3 days and then decide to call at 1100 on a Friday night and then get mad because the officers are busy and take a little while to get to your car. If you would have called on Tuesday afternoon when your car was damaged, there is a good chance that you would have had a lot shorter wait than on a Friday night.

#7 If you make a police report, don't change it 5 times. It doesn't make you look good...it makes you look like a suspect. And don't tell me one story on the phone and then tell the officer a totally different story when he shows up. It doesn't save any time and it's just going to make me mad for you making me look stupid.

#8 If you want sympathy, don't call me at 1100 at night and cry to me because your neighbors are being loud and you can't sleep. I understand it might be frustrating, but you aren't going to get the sympathy you want from me for still being awake...I have alot of hours left at work talking to people just like you.

#9 I am on your side. I'm not out to get you. But you better believe that if you're rude to me on the phone, I'm going to check you for warrants. It's my right as a dispatcher to check every single person we are going to have contact with, and if you're rude to me, you moved yourself to the top of the list! Your fault, not mine!

#10 If you don't speak english, that is your choice. I'm not going to judge you. But don't call me and ask if I speak spanish (or whatever language you speak) and then get mad at me for not speaking a language that isn't primary in our country. AND, don't ask me if I speak spanish and then when I say no, speak to me in the best english I've ever heard. If you speak english, speak it from the beginning!

What's been going on.

Oh my gosh...I have been such a slacker! I haven't posted for awhile, and last time it was a post I copied off my personal blog. I really try to be good. But of course I've been working, so of course stuff has happened. Here are some of the things going on lately.

I'm serious, this could not have smelled good! :P We got a report of a fire alarm. We were trying to call into the business (a normal routine on fire alarms) and I received a 911 call from a fisherman at Utah Lake (who would fish in there is for another time...) and he said he could see flames. I asked him where and he said at the dump. We got the fire department and police officers sent over and sure enough, the dump was on fire. Something funny happened when the officer arrived. We had already told him about the fisherman seeing flames, but the officer gets on scene and said there was no smoke or flames showing. We kind of sat there for a second not quite knowing what to say. Two different people had seen and reported two different things. And then we hear this "Uh, dispatch, I just went around to the other side of the building, and there are flames visible!!! They're coming from the building and they're 15 feet tall!!!" I just had a little laugh to myself. He felt a little foolish too. The lesson he learned was look all the way around the building before giving a scene size up. :D

I got to work the other day and sat down ready to face the day. I was on phones which I was happy about. I just wanted to take phone calls and do my job. I picked up the very first phone that rang after I sat down. It was a 911. There was a lady on the phone and we had the following conversation.
Me: 911, what city please?
Caller: Orem.
Me: This is Orem, how can I help you?
Caller: I have a problem. We were at the park and our kite got stuck in the tree. And it's not like a dollar store kite. It was like a nice, stitched kite. What can the police department do for me?
Me: Can you hold on one second please?
At this point I put the call on hold. I always expect calls like this at work, but for some reason I wasn't expecting in as the first call of the day or expecting it over 911. I had no words. I did eventually pick up the phone and tell them that there was nothing the police could do. They would need to find a different way to get the kite down. She seemed to not be able to believe that I wasn't going to send the fire engine to her lights and sirens to get the kite out of the tree. *Sigh* Some people.

Oh, what else has happened?

We had two kind of annoying 911 stories that happened on the same day and right around the same time. First of all we got a 911 call from a man at a pay phone. He wanted the address for an apartment complex in Provo. Now usually I am more than happy to give an address to someone but NOT over 911. I explained over and over that I couldn't do it and that we were holding up a 911 line. They told me they didn't have change to call a different number. I told them to find an open business in the area and ask to use the phone, and they finally agreed and hung up. Well, after TWO more calls from the same person asking the same thing on 911 lines, he finally called back on a non-emergency line. Non-emergency was call number four. So they were given the address and the Provo Police number (for the 4th time) in case the needed to call again. I thought for sure they were done calling, until 911 rang and it was them again. I didn't know what to think, but I was getting annoyed! We told the guy not to call 911 again unless it was an emergency. He finally listened! Now, now, it's not that exciting. He listened "technically" in that he didn't call, but he had the lady he was with call 911. They didn't have money and now wanted a ride to Provo. Finally we had enough and sent an officer down to the gas station they were at to talk to them. You can be arrested for abusing 911, and I didn't necessarily expect that to happen, but they needed to stop. So the officers made contact and made them stop. I honestly had my doubts even after the officers talked to them, but they finally did stop!

The other 911 call we had bugged me as well! I answered 911 (I answered alot of phones that night for not being on phones. The 911 phones person was busy with fire traffic so we took her phones.) I heard yelling immediately on the phone, and then we had the following conversation.
Me: 911 what's the address of your emergency?
Caller: address given
Me: Ok, what's the problem there?
Caller: There has been an altercation!
Me: Ok, what exactly is going on?
Caller: (amidst screaming) Oh, never mind, never mind. click.
The phone was disconnected. Let me tell you a little tidbit of information. If you want to make a dispatcher mad, call 911 and then hang up after you've said there was a problem and amidst yelling. It makes me so angry! I ended up calling back and had to explain the same thing over and over. The caller said everything was fine now. I told him that he had called 911 saying there was an altercation so whether he wanted or not, the police were coming so he may as well give me the information I was asking. He finally agreed and said he had been punched and was bleeding and his brother did it and may be drunk etc, etc, etc. While I'm talking to him I hear a girl in the background saying over and over "Just hang up! We don't want the police. Hang up!" The guy finally told me to talk to his mom and gave that lady the phone. I then started all over explaining to her that when someone calls the police and says that someone has been punched, the police are going to come. If everything is fine then the officers will clear right away, but they have to see it for themselves. They can't just take someones word for it. If they take someone word for it and there is a problem then that responsibility lies with us. The lady just would not give up trying to get me to cancel and I just kept telling her why we were coming. I figured that us talking about anything at least kept her on the phone. Finally the police showed up and I heard over the phone (imagine the most spiteful voice you can think of) "There are two police officers here. And just so you know, I DO RESENT YOU FOR THIS." Click. Let me tell you, I'm shaking in my boots! :P

Tonight we were searching for a suspect. We were helping the detective and we kept getting small parts of information. We got that the suspect vehicle was red. Then we heard it was a Mazda. Then they added that it might be a Mitsubishi. So there are four dispatchers and we're all searching the best way we can but still wanted more information if it were possible. Finally the detective told us that the year of the vehicle was a middle year. Oh, ok....wait, what is a middle year? I honestly had no idea. We were wondering if it was middle of the officers life or middle of the 2000's or middle of what? I finally had to ask him. I got on the radio and asked the officer "Can you advise what a middle year vehicle is?" There was kind of a silence for a second and then he replied "Not old, but not new." Um, hello, I think I liked the middle year answer better. It was so funny. He finally called in later and said he had asked a 17 year old how old the vehicle was. She said she didn't know and he asked her if it was old or new and she said it was a middle year. He didn't know what it meant either. But he probably could have come up with a better answer for the radio, don't you think? ;D

And that's just some of what has been happening lately. I'm sure there is more but it's late (well early) and I'm tired so I'm calling it a night. Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Best of friends...

I posted this on my other blog, but thought it was very fitting for this one too. So my apologies to those of you who read both.

I don't think that people need to be best of friends. I don't care really if people even like each other. But why, oh why can't people just learn to get along? I feel like I'm a babysitter more often than a dispatcher. I never knew that people would call the police for every minor little thing. Seriously people, do you need your hand held just to live your life? Are you not adult enough to solve your own problems?

Why is it that you can't just ask your neighbor to turn their music down? Why can't you tell your neighbor that their dog is keeping you awake night after night? Why can't you go get your mail from your ex-husbands house alone? He's never been violent and you have a friend with you, but you can't do it alone? Really? Why can't you just ignore someone who cut you off in traffic and go on with your day? Do you really think it's the end of the world that a few leaves are falling out of a truck or that there is a puddle on a sidewalk? Don't get me started on people who think it's the end of the world that a truck in front of them is putting out a little black smoke from their exhaust pipe. I understand it might be upsetting that your house got hit by 1 egg, but you really feel the need to call the police and ask them to fingerprint the egg shell? You can't just throw it away? And, do you really think you know every person who should be in your neighborhood at every hour of the day? You don't think that the person who walked by your house could just be out for a walk or visiting a neighbor and not casing your house for burglary?

In case you can't tell, it's been a long week. Not busy, but very draining! I don't understand why people can't just be a contributing factor to the community without being a vigilante. People need to learn to get along. People need to learn to deal with minor things alone. People need to learn that the police (and dispatchers) aren't here to hold your hand as you go through life. We're here to help in case of emergency. That's it! I don't need any more friends. I have enough already. Cut the small talk, cut the back-biting, cut the whining, and DEAL WITH LIFE!. We all have problems, so deal with it. I'm happy to help when help is needed, but I think we need have a talk about necessity vs NOT! Stop holding grudges, stop getting offended and just move on. I promise, it will be ok!

(P.S. I feel much better now that I've vented! =D Just thought I'd share!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A crash in Orem

There was a serious car accident in Orem the other day. Subjects from both vehicles had to be extricated and they are in critical condition according to ksl. Check out the following pictures, and for the full story click here and here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Things I've learned at work lately...

The following things I have learned at work the past few weeks, and I have found them to be so important that I feel I should pass them on so you too can learn from them.

#1 When you call in a report to the police, it doesn't matter whether you talk calmly or scream...the response is going to be the same. So save us all the trouble (and save our eardrums) and just don't yell!

#2 Just because you live next door to one of our police officers doesn't mean that you locking your keys in your car is going to be more important than a traffic accident or a medical emergency or anything else. I understand the officer is your friend and neighbor, but he (or she) doesn't dictate what is an emergency. You can't have special treatment just because a police officer moved in next door to you. I'm sorry.

#3 Don't crash your personal car into a police car. It only makes the officer angry and our goal is to keep the officers happy! (I did not crash my car into an officer, don't worry.)

#4 If you're going to be a bad guy (or girl) and want to remain 'sleuth', don't post your whole life on facebook. You make it ridiculously easy for people to track you down!

#5 If you call something into the police department and we tell you that we'll send an officer, WE WILL SEND AN OFFICER! Don't call back 3 times wondering where we are. We're coming as fast as possible. Just because your call seems like an emergency to you (and it may be important) doesn't mean that there isn't something more important in the city requiring the officers first. Please be patient. It's a virtue, you know?!?

#6 If you want dispatchers to like you, be nice to us when you call in. I'm not calling you...you are calling me asking for help. I'm doing the best I can to help you with your request. Just show a little respect. I know you're scared/frustrated/worried/excited etc...but still be nice!

#7 When I say "What's the address of your emergency?" THAT'S ALL I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT THEN!! I know you have a whole story you want to tell me, and I'll get there eventually, but one thing at a time!

#8 When I ask you questions, I assure you that it's not to bug you. Everything I ask is needed for a reason. Please just answer the questions. The quicker you answer my questions, the quicker you get an officer.

#9 If an officer is trying to do a traffic stop on you or handcuff you or do anything else 'police related'...PLEASE don't call dispatch asking to talk to the one officer in our department you think you are friends with. Just do what the officer on scene is asking you to do, and worry about the rest later. It's just going to make the officers angry if you ignore them and call me, and trust me, there is a good chance I don't want to talk to you in that situation! :D

#10 Even though sometimes police officers have a bad repuation, most of them do in fact know what they are talking about. Don't call dispatch to ask us if the things the officer told you is true. All that's going to get you is another conversation with the exact same officer, and I can almost guarantee that by that point he won't be as pleasant as he first was. Trust me! (And trust them!!)