Comments: 1809 • Responses: 13  • Date: 

warry0r1332 karma

This is one of our dispatch terminals. This one is called the "driver's seat", since it has more of the vital functions that some of the other stations lack.

scoopi590 karma

I'm a new dispatcher about to be released from training. In my small agency I may be totally alone sometimes. Any advice?

warry0r795 karma

Of course! Communication is key. If you have to leave your station for any reason, communicate that to your police officers as much as possible (FIRE/MEDICAL personnel don't really need to know this info UNLESS they are out on a call).

Also, my superiors are big on radio professionalism here, and it's always a juggling act when it comes to relaying information from a 3rd party to your responding units. And remember; radio traffic can usually be picked up on civillian airwaves unless it's an encrypted channel, so there's a high probability that people are listening in.

Last thing: it may be tempting to share your side of the story with the media, especially since we have a "front-row" to most emergency situations taking place. But such divulgence of information can affect the investigations of any call.

staggo530 karma

How has this job affected your views on humanity? And what's the most fucked up call you've ever gotten?

warry0r1093 karma

With the high volume of illiterate and unwanton calls I recieve on a weekly basis, I'm beginning to lose my faith. But there's always that "call" where people are genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of their fellow citizens, and that to me, restores a little tiny bit each time.

The worst call I've ever recieved would probably be about a lady who killed hundreds of cats by drowning them in her own home. I love cats! Though I prefer dogs more.

vjosiah433 karma


warry0r768 karma

The worse calls I have gotten would probably be suicides. No family ever wants to come home and find that.

ApocalypticK158 karma

I've personally got a story to tell, and it's one that makes me respect people like you even more. When I was younger, my mother had actually committed suicide. Being the only one in the house at the time, I was the one who inevitably found her and was forced to call 911. I remember to this date being hysteric, scared and I was running completely off of adrenaline: the man on the other side of the line asked me questions, my address, tried to talk to me, and did everything he could to help out my situation. I'll never remember to this date what that man said at the very end. "Stay Strong, Thomas. Stay Strong". He eventually hung up once he heard the police arriving. So I can personally say, thank you for everything you've done. People in that situation are in a dire situation, and being able to hear a voice of reason is incredible.

warry0r29 karma

Wow, that was very moving. I'm sorry you had to experience that and I thank you for sharing your story. May your heavy heart find rest, my good sir.

WHWells392 karma

In my line of work, I answer the phone a lot, and I get the "it's an emergency" thing only to find out it's not. What's the most "non-emergency" thing people have claimed is an emergency?

warry0r846 karma

Broken water lines. Always the broken water lines. And non-vicious animal control calls. It's very repetitive, but most people treat the center as an "information hub", and it's always important to treat your callers with respect and professionalism, seeing as how our verbatim and conversation can affect the public's confidence with their city services and employees.

KaptenBao362 karma

How often do you receive "Prank calls"?

warry0r621 karma

Not very often. I do however recieve a large number of "pocket dials", seeing as how most mobile phones come equipped with a "lock screen" option, it only takes a swipe or button press to activate the "emergency phone call" option (which can only dial 911).

warry0r335 karma

Hey fellas, I plan on answering each and every question you have! I will take a short break and grab a few zzz's for now; I'm in between shifts, got off work at 6am and have to be back at 2pm.

Sligmit318 karma

What is the strangest call you have ever received that turned out to be real?

warry0r536 karma

Strangest call? Hmm, recently we had a lady phone in as she was driving down the road, claiming that someone had a knife to her sister's throat (who was living in another town). The call itself began very casual and forthcoming, but as we dug deeper trying to extract information, it turned out to be real. Here's the article:

vjosiah277 karma


warry0r600 karma

Last week, we had a "hostage situation" -- and get this -- it was in the same apartment complex I live in. The quickest way to save anyone's life via telephone is identifying the threat or emergency and correlating the responding police/fire/medical forces to that location. We dispatched the police department to the area in a timely manner and caught the suspect as he was walking out to the parking lot to "get something" out of his vehicle. If we hadn't responded within minutes of the call being made, it could have ended differently.

julianhb4248 karma

If I had secretly dialed 911 because someone had a gun on me, what should I say to make you realize it's a real emergency and not a butt-dial without the gunman noticing?

warry0r120 karma

Hey Julia - in the event something like that happens, we are trained to pick up on subtlety's and any abnormal behavior whilst on the phone line. We are also trained to acknowledge when someone is speaking in "code"; when the reporting party is speaking in a manner in which they do not want to alert the gunman. You could engage in conversation with the gunman, such as a plea for sympathy on his behalf. Once you get the gunman to engage in this type of conversation, it is fairly easy for a well-trained dispatcher to discern what is an actual emergency and not a butt-dial.

TheGreatJeremy231 karma

Have you ever treated a call from someone you knew? If so, how did you handle the personal emotions that come into play when dealing with a friend or loved one who is in an emergency? Thanks for the AMA!

warry0r357 karma

You're welcome! I've had several within the tenure of my employment here. Most of the time, the friend or relative on the other end of the line didn't know it was me. I've learned through out the course of my careers that you have to leave emotions at the front door of your home; any distractions could affect the performance of your job duties, and no one wants that. Fortunately, I haven't fielded any calls that pertained to death/injury to family or friends

pooroldedgar86 karma

Do people in lower-class areas get better worse service than people in upper-class areas? If so, how and why? If not, why is this a popular conception?

Edit: Oops! Big mistake.

warry0r239 karma

In our jurisdiction, we respond to calls without bias. A person's life is important to me regardless of whatever call/criminal record they have accrued. I treat every call as if it could be my family or friend. Popular conception of this particular issue is usually portrayed by the handling and discretion of the responding unit.