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Welcome to my site and thank you for reading. After many times thinking, if only I had a blog, well-- here we are. This blog will feature writings on a variety of topics from roadside food, to leadership in the fire service; politics; culture- gay, straight, and indifferent, my experiences in Ohio, New York and beyond; and much much more. It's my hope that you will find it interesting and that it stirs at least some thought and discussion. I am certain you wont always agree, but that is what its all about right? Oh and one more thing: The views expressed on this site are entirely my own. They do not reflect in anyway the views or positions of my employer.



Monday, December 28, 2015

Dispatcher Basics: Listening from home

This maybe extra controversial, but I am just going to go ahead and say it.  Being a professional means we sometimes need to do work related things outside of work.  I am sorry.  After all, a Doctor isn't only a doctor from 9am-5pm, nor is a Police Officer going to ignore the robbery on their way home since they are off duty. 

Now, I am not saying that you should take 9-1-1 calls from home, but there are a couple of things you can do on your time away from work that will help you be a better dispatcher.  We have talked about exploring your area, visiting public safety facilities, and marking up your map, but there is something else too that will go a long way toward taking your career from Good to Great-- occasionally listening to radio traffic from your agency and/or others.  

With the presence of online access to scanner feeds (both in app form and via websites) it has never been easier to listen to good (or bad) radio traffic from the comfort of your own car or couch.  You don't have to do it all the time, but taking some time to put it on, maybe while doing other things, will help develop your dispatcher ear from a whole new prospective. . 

Now, don't be a jerk about it. Don't call in to day shift and say "you are doing it wrong" if you hear something you don't like. Just be an interested observer and try to picture in your mind the rest of the story.  This is incredibly helpful for new dispatchers just starting out.  For those who have already been on awhile, try listening to a big city and see how they handle large volumes of radio traffic.  You may find it confusing at first, but with some exposure you will quickly follow what's going on. 

For those that have a regular place they travel to for vacation, that might be a good choice as well.  You might be just familiar enough to be able to better understand the goings on.  Again, use this as a tool to buildup your "ear"; identify new techniques that may help inform your own style, and remember, we all do things just a little differently. 


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