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I hear the frantic voice and sit up straighter in my chair
The mother on the other end is screaming in despair
I try to understand what she is saying through her tears
She’s coping with the reality of a parent’s greatest fear
I tell her that we’re on our way and send my closest car
My heart is going with him but the distance seems so far
The seconds feel like hours as I listen to her screams
She’s getting the best effort of the people on this team
The crisis will play out, despite everything we do
She’ll blame us for her tragedy, though we know that its not true
The dispatcher was calm to her, the officer was strong,
And she can’t see the anguish we were feeling all along
That cop was racing to her like that child was his own
That dispatcher’s heart was sitting in her stomach like a stone
I hang up when my guy arrives and before I take a breath,
I’m back on 9-1-1 with someone else’s life and death


(Dedicated to all of the wonderful men and women in Public Safety who sacrifice their sleep and sanity for everyone else)

------
Jewel L


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Comments

The following comments are for "Just Another Night in Comm"
by JewelL

Just Another Night in Comm
Thru your very descriptive writing and the secquences used to tell myself (third party standing and looking on) I could see everything that was taking place from the mothers frantic call to the first officer on the scene all the way thru to the last paramedic walking out the door with his head hung down. Beating himself up in his mind wondering what else could he have done. Very powerful read. Thanks so much for sharing.
definitly "Keep on inkin the Pages"
Poison

( Posted by: POISON9901 [Member] On: March 23, 2006 )

911 or 999
Leann,
I have worked alongside control centres for the past 35 years in one way or another. For 30 years of that giving emergency breakdown cover on the roads in Britain.

It may not be the 911 (or 999 here) situation but people are still desperate for help and situations do arise. I have also been directly involved in many other aspects of care.

A genaral concensus seems to say that workers in these situations get hardened to it and it becomes normal, and therefore by default are not affected by it and do not 'really care'.

Damn, my wife, a carer, is taking a present to a senior citizen who she sees occasionally for mothers day tommorrow... she has nobody else. My staff and collegues have spent time and money resolving 'situation' purely because they cared.

Anybody who is working in this sort of enviorement who doesn't care is in the wrong job. The pressure it puts people under both physically and mentally is only compensated by knowing that they have helped.

Your poetry paints this picture, but still no doubt somebody somewhere will attempt to sue you because Money is the God that controls peoples minds!

I hope your poetry helps people to understand.....

Ivor

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: March 25, 2006 )

Why Care?
Eric,

You seem to have made the perfect example of why people need to care in the young policwoman who was more concerned about the documents than the trauma of the victims..... yes I bet there is a queue of people, like her, waiting to take the older 'caring' police officers job!

"Maybe if the job is too upsetting you wouldn’t be doing it…."

Joans job can be upsetting, her clients die frequently, the one's she bathes, cooks and cares for. Yes the job actually is 'too upsetting' and there are dozens of people, who don't give a damn both queing and already causing misery for clients by not 'caring' properly for them'.

As I think you said, people are all different but personally I wish a lot more people actually did get 'deep and personal' and yes I know it also affects you, but with the right training and attitude it does not necassarily mean you are unable to do your job, but cetainly can make you better at it....

Ivor

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: March 26, 2006 )

Beg to differ
The reason you know about the treatment for stress/trauma is because emergency services started providing that treatment after realizing that the suicide and heart attack rate for police officers and dispatchers is over 10 times higher than the public..... cops are culturally trained to not show how its affecting them... that culture is changing and hopefully so will the suicide rate. . . .
I would say that the day I DON'T care anymore, is when I will hang up my headset...
If you are calling 911 (999) becuase your child is dying, would you rather have someone who didn't care, or someone who was fighting as hard as they could to get you the help because they cared so much?
and no. There's no line of people who want my job. We can't keep our center staffed, and its the same way all the way across the country.

( Posted by: JewelL [Member] On: March 28, 2006 )

additionally
can we get back to task? I'd appreciate more comment on the writing itself rather than a discussion about our opinions of emergency services?
thanks

( Posted by: JewelL [Member] On: March 28, 2006 )

On task?
Leann,

"can we get back to task? "

Any writing, poetry or otherwise has two important factors. The first is obviously the technical side and ease of reading,

rhythm and rhyme (if applicable)
ie. in this piece do plurals actually work as rhyme with singulars. tears-fear screams-team.

rythm and rhyme in this piece were good, the slight exceptions above not detracting from the poetry.

The second, and to me the most important is does the reader enjoy reading the work. The most beautifully sculptured work with no intesting content is a wast of time.

In this poetry you managed both halves of the equation and as a result you have achieved what any author's dream is, to be read and enjoyed and talked about with enthusiasm!

I feel this is the best compliment a poet could have and certainly measure my success in the interest my poetry raises. Yes I also like people to advise on structure, but truly know I am at my best when everybody discusses the content.

You produced excellent work and our responses have been to admire that work...

Ivor

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: March 28, 2006 )

comments
I meant no disrespect to the comments.... I do appreciate that is has generated discussion, and thank you for the compliment.... it just seemed that it was getting to be more about an argument over people's opinions of emergency services, and less about the work or the feelings/thoughts it inspired.....
Comment away, and I'll stop being so demanding :-)

( Posted by: JewelL [Member] On: March 28, 2006 )





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