When The Phone Rings… A 9-1-1 Dispatcher’s Pain

By Samantha Smith – Armor Up West Virginia

Being a 911 dispatcher is not a job for just anyone.  Multitasking is an absolute must.  Every time the phone rings you never know what will be on the other line.  Dispatchers are all too often over looked and not considered a first responder.  Who do you think sends the first responders?  They don’t magically know where to go.  911 dispatchers are the FIRST ones to offer help or assistance, figuring out where you are when you have no idea and being the calm reassuring voice during your storm.

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Dear Tomorrow…

By Ti Mahoney Blair

It’s today, really, but it feels like you are still tomorrow, because it’s dark outside and I have yet to go to sleep.  What day is it? And why am I still here…

Tomorrow, I used to worry about you and dread you. I regretted yesterdays and I held my breath until the todays were over.  I wished my life away.  Time stands still.  And then it whips by like a deja vu.  A memory I have had before. Who am I becoming? Now that I can’t hide anymore?

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The Culture Shift In First Responder Mental Health

By Joseph Hunter, M.A. – First Responder Wellness Program

First responders are on the front lines of traumatic events day in and day out.  They are constantly exposed to terrible things that most people could never imagine, and then have to work amongst that chaos trying to save as many lives as possible.  The norm for first responders has been to bury those experiences and memories as far down as possible; to act like they aren’t affected by what they witness every day.  But with the rise of mass shootings over the past few years – 159 mass shootings in the United States through July 2018 – and the realization that first responders need to have their voices heard, the stoic culture is starting to shift.

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