Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Step Forward and Three Steps Back

Sometimes I'm not sure we're typical of other dispatch centers. I wonder if all dispatchers in this country and elsewhere, experience what we do on a daily basis. Namely the overwhelming arrogance, insensitivity and obstruction exibited by police officers and firefighters toward dispatchers. I sense that there is a certain amount of that in every center, but I wonder if it has become the daily battle we face here. There's no attempt of understanding ,comeradery or even the slightest caring of what dispatchers do or experience on the job. I blame a lot of that on the police, fire and communications officials who absolutely refuse to allow the time for ride-alongs, police and fire dispatch observers or anything else that would lead to a clearer understanding of what we do or experience. It's not just the cops and firefighters, our administration at the center exacerbates the problem by shying away from aggressive action. It's been a serious problem for some time, and it only gets worse and worse. How about it. Does anyone out there have similar problems or a resolution for this? We're losing people every month up here and there's no end in sight. Who would want to work in a place where everyone is on your ass all the time? Where professionalism is a complete joke. Where you end up taking one step forward and three steps back.


Blogger Rebekah said...

I agree that ride alongs and having the people we dispatch to sit in dispatch bridges a big gap...Let them hear what an accident sounds like when everyone keys up at the same time.
I am in a small enough area that I know most of the people I dispatch to and having that ability cuts down on the unappreciated feelings. I know this doesnt answer your question but I sympathize with you

6:40 AM  
Blogger John said...

Had similar problem. Difficulty is that neither side fully appreciates what is involved in the other guy's job. I set out to get the operational street guys to come see what went on in the "office". Think it helped some.

11:47 AM  
Blogger 911 Dispatcher said...

Having officers come and sit in dispatch for a shift or two can make a difference. Just make sure it's on a busy shift.

We have a state trooper who is on administrative leave and is spending his time in dispatch helping to answer phones.

For us it's business as usual, but it overwhelms him a bit. He often says dispatchers should start at $50 per hour. He also said the other day that dispatchers deal with more assholes in one shift than cops do in a month!

1:49 PM  
Blogger HotRodHanna said...

Yep. Same here. It took having a Comm Manager that was a former dispatcher to really stand up for us. (some years later, she has morphed to the admin mentality and is useless to us but at least we made some progress) We found we had to get the ear of admin for anything to be accomplished. (having a former employee sue for hostile work environment helped too!)

10:13 PM  
Blogger PJ said...

Thaks for the input. It's good to know I'm not alone in my experiences. Thanks for the suggestions.

2:57 AM  

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