This week, from April 11th through the 17th, is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
Macon Media salutes those who are the voice in the dark that people reach out to for help, the voice that guides public safety personnel to where they need to be when seconds count. These people work in obscurity, providing the link between those who need help and those who can provide it.
They are the vital link between the person calling, and the emergency services arriving on the scene.
They never know what’s going to happen at any given time when they answer the phone.
Sometimes they have to pry the information out of callers and other times they have to stop them from bombarding them with too much. Each call is as individual as the caller; no two calls are ever the same, no two days are the same.
The telecommunicators at the Macon County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) make a difference in the lives of thousands of Maconians every year.
A DISPATCHERS PRAYER
Help me keep safe those who depend on me.
Give me healthy ears, for they are my link with those who need me.
Keep my mind sharp and alert, my fingers quick and nimble.
Grant that I never forget how to do ten things at once, and do them all equally well.
Bless me with patience Lord.
Patience to deal with the public, with the officers, with the boss, and with everyone else who makes me want to grit my teeth and yell.
Give me nerves of steel,
That I may listen to a mother screaming for her child to live,
The man with a gun, or an officer yelling for backup, and not give way to panic.
Grant me empathy
That I may help the battered wife, the rape victim, the abused child,
And not cause them more pain than they already have.
God, give me the ability
To learn what I need, to remember it quickly,
And give me the wisdom to use the knowledge properly.
Bless my family, Lord,
For they will have to make sacrifices to shift work, overtime,
Canceled plans and times when I just can’t take on one more thing.
Help them understand the missed ball games, school programs and dinners for two.
Lord, give me courage.
Unappreciated, overworked and unrecognized,
Courage to keep trying when I feel in my heart it’s hopeless.
Last of all Lord, help me to never forget why I chose this job in the first place,
To never lose sight of what is important in the midst of stress.
Help me to remember that I make a difference,
However small it may seem some days, and that I matter.
I am a dispatcher, Lord, grant me peace.
The author of this poem is now deceased – it was her choice to remain Anonymous.
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