Thursday, September 20, 2012

Public Safety Telecommunicators: Contribute and be Heard

Ladies & Gentlemen of the radio,

Hello to all my brother and sister Telecommunicators. Today I'm writing about my writing (sounds redundant, doesn't it?), for good reason. For those who kept up on my comments, or have been to my web blog before, I'm in process of writing a book.
Yeah, yeah, so are thousands of other aspiring writers. Well, bear with me. Putting my fictional dreams aside, I started on a project near and dear to my heart back in April. The History of Public Safety Dispatching in America. It's a mouthful to say, and has been keeping me busy in my limited off time.

I'm looking for stories relating to our profession. Other than no pornography, the skys's the limit. Okay, I may do some light editing.

Some of you might even recall reading my request to get a survey passed around and returned to me (by the way, it's still posted on April 23rd)

Now, I've another request. No non-fiction book worth it's salt leaves out war stories, and boy, do we have 'em. What kind am I looking for? The floor is open, says the Chairman, and let's not be afraid to speak out.

To help out, I've listed the chapters (names & numbers subject to change). I don't want more than two paragraphs, as there will be space considerations. I would LOVE to have photographs (in JPEG files) of old communications centers (please identify photographer, persons, agency, date, and what the picture is of).

Ch 1 Foundations of Public Safety
Ch 2 Public Safety Embraces Radio
Ch 3 Civilians Take Over
Ch 4 Changing the Status Quo (various task force papers released regarding communications and public safety)
Ch 5 9-1-1
Ch 6 Telecommunicators as a profession
Ch 7 Dispatchers on the Silver Screen (this will be a fun read - I promise)
Ch 8 Dispatcher Standards (or lack of)
CH 9 Next Gen 911
Ch 10 The Survey

Have any funny, sad, insightful, or just plain wierd tales you'd like to share? I'm not promising every tale will make it, but I'll do my best to get a good mix. I want representations from law enforcement, fire, and ems, sworn dispatchers & non-sworn. Are you a Tactical, TERT, or part of a Wildland Response team? Are you doing something different? Did you start a citizen project or were you the first dispatcher to be a formal SWAT team negotiator?

Did you make the switch from field to dispatch or from dispatch to field, and then go back? Why? Remember, keep your responses pithy, and if you only want to use your first name, that's cool. If you want to send phototgrpahs, please attach a typed sheet with all information identified.

I can't promise every anecdote will be used, but I will use a nice mix, and I may contact you if I see a story that stands out.

I'd love to include photographs of old Communications Centers (especially ones with the belts running through the rooms or card slots with corresponding lights); TERT teams in action; Incident Management teams at ICS Command posts; Tactical Dispatchers performing their jobs; dispatch centers of all sizes - with personnel uniformed & plain clothed; old dispatch and telecommunications equipment; and, pictures of dispatchers at functions: academies, seminars & conventions.

If you prefer to send a written letter,

send it to:

Diana Sprain
P O Box 20367
Reno, NV 89512-0367

email to:

Feel free to print this and the linked survey with my address & email for the other dispatchers to see. Our Fall & Winter are the 'quiet' you really want me to be bored (ha ha)?

Once again,

I thank all of you who have responded to my previous request.

Stay safe out there!

Diana Sprain

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