Sunday, January 3, 2016

I trained for this

I Trained For This

You can’t say they don’t try to warn you. When you begin your training they tell you that not everyone is cut out for this job. That only 1% of the population has what it takes.

They give you an out.

But you shrug it off.  You tell them that you understand what you are signing up for.

It takes awhile before you realize what the job has done to you.

Before it all adds up, the heaviness on your shoulders that never quite leaves.

The anguish of a father watching the home that he has worked for burn to the ground.
Every child whose voice wavers in fear, depending on you to keep them safe.
The wife who screams in your ear as she fights off her drunk husband.
A teenager who doesn’t think he has anything to live for.
Every young woman who sobs quietly into the phone that “she said no.”
The grandmother who wakes to find that her husband of 40 years has died in his sleep.
The mom who finds herself pinned in her seat after a crash, and can’t reach her baby.

They need you to be brave.
You say it to yourself over and over.
I’ve got this.
I trained for this.
I’m okay.  

You take the call. You ask all the right questions. You send help.
You send medics who manage grotesque injuries that they’ll never forget.
You send firefighters who put themselves in danger to battle the blaze.
You send officers who risk their lives every day for strangers.
Who put on a badge and go to work knowing that they might not come home.
You do it all knowing that their safety is dependant on you.

They need you to be brave.
So you say it to yourself over and over.
I’ve got this.
I trained for this.
I’m okay. I'm a dispatcher.

1/3/16 WCCA, Oregon