I am a 21 year old male, and have been on the job for almost 3 years now. I live in a town with aprox 100,000, and peak at about 160,000 during the day. I work with minimum of 3 other dipatchers (max of 5). Proof http://imgur.com/wmFmInJ

Edit: I just wanna say thanks to all the questions and I am having a blast answering all of your questions!

Update: I can't believe I'm still getting questions but I love it! I just want to let you guys know I do need to sleep sometime and when I awaken I will answer anymore questions that appear so keep asking away!

Comments: 301 • Responses: 93  • Date: 

yellowfart21 karma

I an held hostage, can dial 911 but can't speak. Can you locate me and do you send someone over a silent call?

Hahnsternator23 karma

Over a completely silent call? Sadly no, because we recieve SO many butt dials, and sometimes we hear things on those, others they are completely silent, on calls like that we just call back if someone answers we ask if they have an emergency, if the call goes to voice mail (most of the time is what it does) we close the call. If we hear anything we deem suspicious during the call, ie yelling, banging, we can work on getting suscriber info and best location from a ping on the cell phone but that rarely happens, I've never had a hostage situation though.

Renrum14 karma

35% of 911 calls are inadvertent. Part of the reason is if you dial 9 and 1 it will auto dial to 9-1-1. Kind of a bitch

Hahnsternator13 karma

Yes it is 911 hang ups dominate our call load and we have to call back every one of them. Except on disconnected phones because we can not call them.

yellowfart6 karma

Is there any way to contact you by SMS/email/chat in a situation where you can't talk?

Hahnsternator8 karma

So far no but the government (sorry I don't super specifics on it) are working on bringing text to 911, also if your phone has TTY capabilities (used by the deaf to basically text through an open line) and you know how to use it you can but TTY is very loud beeps so if your trying to be silent it may not work well.

Kewl_FedOra42021 karma

Has a call ever impacted you psychologically?

Hahnsternator32 karma

Well all calls impact me some way or another, but none have impacted me so bad that I needed counciling, the ones that impact the most though is talking to people who find their loved ones dead in the morning when they wake up

WishiWasaSquirrel24 karma

When I found a relative who had committed suicide I had to make the call, I was pretty messed up at the time, the woman who took the call actually stayed on the phone with me for the 10 minutes until they arrived because she didn't want me to deal with it alone, I never got to say thank you :/

Anyways has someone ever found you after to personally thank you? You guys and girls deserve it.

Hahnsternator22 karma

That has happened to me before as a dispatcher I stay on the phone to help comfort because when that happens to someone they've never felt more alone, and no they never looked for me in person but they did go down to my pd and wanted to thank me for staying on the phone with her (it was with the grandmother who found her grandson).

WishiWasaSquirrel6 karma

How do you feel after? I would guess you've dealt with that situation so often that you just move on to the next call?

Hahnsternator10 karma

Sometimes I have to step away and take a breather but it is apart of the job and you gotta keep truckin' on.

Hahnsternator7 karma

I feel sad that someone lost a loved one but I've gotta keep trucking on, and then talk to someone about their baby daddy kidnapping their child, because apperently this person had the child asexually without the help of the "baby daddy".

WishiWasaSquirrel9 karma

So it goes from tragic to jerry springer within minutes.

Thanks for answering my question, appreciate the answer and what you do.

Hahnsternator6 karma

Yes it does and thanks I appreciate it.

chaz91w17 karma

I am a behavioral health care manager and often have to refer suicidal clients to call 911. How much training have you had in mental health first aid and how do you feel when you have to talk to patients actively suicidal? Thanks your time!

Hahnsternator25 karma

I have quite a bit of training dealing with people who are suicidal or that have mental health problems. I actually just had training dealing with people with mental health problems. I do not mind in the least bit talking to people who are wanting to commit suicide, I do my best to ask about their problems, while being empithetic and do my best to hold off the suicide attempt until someone can physically get there.

hobnobbinbobthegob12 karma

When you're not on the job, and friends and family call you, are you ever disappointed by how boring their calls are?

Hahnsternator20 karma

I have actually realized I don't really like to talk to friends and family over the phone anymore because it's my life now lol. So yeah I try to avoid it now, not sure if it's because it reminds me about work or just that talking to loved ones isn't the same anymore.

Jrmills7 karma

I know your feeling. I work in an alarm monitoring center. My wife doesn't understand why I do not like talking on the phone to her, haha. Maybe I will talk to you one day dispatching on an alarm :)

Hahnsternator6 karma

What alarm company?

Jrmills3 karma

Dynamark Monitoring. We are a 3rd party central station so we use the name of the installing company. What state do you dispatch in?

Hahnsternator1 karma

South texas gotta say never talked to that company our big ones are triple d, tyco, vcs and asg

Jrmills2 karma

That's why. We are not licensed yet in Texas. But we soon will be.

Hahnsternator4 karma

Awesome hope I hear from ya!

Prius_For_Life9 karma

Craziest 911 call? Call that will stick with you the most? Have any regulars that call a lot?

Hahnsternator18 karma

We had a naked man run through our mall high on laced cocaine, one of the calls that sticks with me the most is a grandmother who found her grandson dead, suicide. And yes many callers I know by name, most of them mentally disable.

THEsharkymiragical9 karma

What is the most ridiculous reason someone has ever called you?

Hahnsternator30 karma

Very good question one of the most common is that their power is off, and they want us to just stop messing around and flip that big red switch again. Right next to us to turn back on the power lol. One time we had a woman call because a store didn't want to give a refund on pants she stole lol.

isastn08 karma

Do you ever get any prank calls? If so, what happens?

Hahnsternator25 karma

Yes and depends, if it's on 911 we will dig through records and do our best to find out who has the phone and if it's a child, yell at the parents, and if it's an adult, arrest them for abuse of the 911 system

hxnterrr7 karma

I call 911. I say "I need help. I can not talk." Then I proceed to not say anything, but leave the call up, can you find me?

Hahnsternator10 karma

I can't guarantee that I could find you but I would do my best, getting a second phase on the call which gives us a general area of where the phone is, but the problem with that is if it's a high density area ie apartment complex or close housing, it can be very hard to find you. But we also contact the phone company get subscriber info and try to get a better location.

hxnterrr4 karma

Can I call 911 and ask permission if it's okay to kill someone?

eg I'm aware that someone's breaking into my house and I'm sitting at the front door pointing a gun towards it.

Hahnsternator10 karma

I can't tell you to take the shot, you have that right to defend your life and property all I can tell people if they take the shot make sure they know it isn't a loved one coming home early. You can say I feel threatened and I am going to defend myself but we can only say do what you feel is right because we are not there and be sure what you are shooting you want to shoot.

rambull20007 karma

How stressful is your job? Are you always intensely focused the whole day or are you relaxed for the most part?

Hahnsternator12 karma

It can be stressful but really it depends on the day and call load the most stressful part of the job is the lives in my hands, ie the officers, firefighters and paramedics. The worse feeling is when one of them ask for backup asap and you just have to sit there and call out to other people.

GuessWhatIGot6 karma

What is the craziest call you've gotten?

Hahnsternator13 karma

Asking that is kind of like asking what's the craziest shit you've ever taken, one time we got a call of a naked man running through our mall high on laced cocaine.

maz-o13 karma

What's the craziest shit you've ever taken?

Hahnsternator35 karma

I've had volcano diarrhea once. It was terrible.

rhigosrebel6 karma

Hi, thanks for doing the AMA, two questions.

  1. If I call you guys, 911 from another country, like the UK would you put me through to the emergency services over here? for example a tourist coming to the UK not knowing the emergency number is 999

  2. If I need to tell you guys im in danger but cannot speak, what is the best way to let you guys know over a silent call?

Thanks again, hope you respond.

Hahnsternator12 karma

Well when you call 911 you get the closest comm center I'm not sure what would happen if you called 911 from the UK but if you called 911 and needed another jurisdiction we can really only transfer to neighboring comm centers ie I can't transfer you from south texas to new York you'd have to find their direct number and I usually help people find those numbers.

And I would imagine if you have an attentive dispatcher at least answer the questions with very wrong answers ie do you need help? Say yes I'm free saturday, if the dispatcher is smart they will catch on and get you to answer the questions in a way that will not tip off your captor.

rhigosrebel5 karma

Oh wow, I never thought about the "Yes I'm free saturday" type ones to answer the questions, thanks for the reply!

Hahnsternator3 karma

no prob, sadly if you dont respond at all (at least i and the rest of the people I know) will think of it as a pocket dial, because it happens so much. What I would suggest is try the either ordering a pizza or talking to a friend.

rhigosrebel1 karma

Hi, just thought of another question but the AMA has ended, hope you could still find time to answer, what was your first call when first getting the job and how well did you handle it? if it was a minor/less serious call then how did you handle your first serious call?


Hahnsternator1 karma

No prob I love answering the questions! AMA after dark :-D hmmm one of my first calls I really can't remember lol that was literally thousands of calls ago, but I don't remember having too much trouble I know I was scared shitless at first and did not know how to handle the calls but I learned!

baildodger5 karma

I am an Emergency Medical Dispatcher in the UK. I can confirm that if you dial 911 in the UK then you will get through to the local ambulance service. It will also work if you dial 112, which is the number used in some mainland European countries.

Hahnsternator1 karma

Awesome thanks for that info I actually believe if you dial 999 here you will also get us

GalPedia5 karma

If a cop find a body (not on duty), does he call his friends or 911?

Hahnsternator5 karma

Depends if he caused the death. Lol no he would call us and we would get on duty officers to handle. If the officer is off duty he is treated as a regular caller.

whiskeybottlepanda5 karma

What was the call you had that you will never forget and why?

Hahnsternator7 karma

Probably the grandmother who found her grandson who commuted suicide, mainly because after he did the family lied about how he died and I didn't agree with it. Mainly because he died from suicide due to bullying and sweeping why he died under the rug made me feel that his death was for nothing then. Also we got a call of a house completely blowing up, wife and baby inside, sadly the mom died but the baby was found safe under debris, and survived.

[deleted]5 karma


Hahnsternator4 karma

Sometimes it is hard, some people yiu can't reason with but we have to do our best to get them from a 5 to a 2 or 1. Best way is to tell them I can't get them help until I get the info I need.

Yoshi_1381 karma

What do you mean by 5, 2, and 1?

Hahnsternator5 karma

We use a scale to base people's ability to talk to us due to the call a 5 is completely hysterical and unable to get any info from them because they are just crying or yelling uncontrollably and a 1 or 2 is very mild, and answering all questions we have

The_Drunken_Cupcake5 karma

Do you ever get frustrated/angry with a certain kind of caller - if so, what do they do?

Hahnsternator9 karma

Yes I do and it's with people who demand that I hurry and send someone, or that they know more then I do when they clearly do not, or when they refuse to answer questions I have to ask them ref medical calls.

The_Drunken_Cupcake2 karma

Are those pet peeves in your normal life too though?

Hahnsternator1 karma

Well I don't like to be rushed but the things I have to deal with at work are very different from what I deal with at home

notgarysmulyan5 karma

About how many legitimize calls do you handle in a typical day? What are the most common issues in your city that cause calls other than typical medical emergencies?

Hahnsternator3 karma

It all depends on the day I'm working, usually it's around maybe 30-50 calls for my 4 hours on call taking, and we have a lot of people fight and get drunk so lots of disturbances.

sviridovt4 karma

Do you only work for 4 hours a day? Or do you also work on something else the other times?

Hahnsternator8 karma

I work 12 hours a day, 4 days on 4 days off, 3 weeks of days 3 weeks of nights, we do 4 hours of call taking, 4 hours of pd radio, and 4 hours of fire radio. Also do any paperwork that comes in like warrant entries, entering stolen items into a national database entering missing people stuff like that.

sviridovt4 karma

which part is the hardest? both psychologically and difficulty wise? I'd imagine you can get some pretty disturbing calls on radios as well.

Hahnsternator4 karma

Well, psychologically it is very demanding, you have to go from talking someone out of ending their life, to telling a mom that we don't discipline their disobedient children, then back to talking to someone who just got assaulted by their significant other and they are afraid they are coming back to finish them off. difficulty wise, you just have to be quick on the draw with your words, never run out of things to say (open air on a call) and be able to type decently fast. Sometimes we get some calls over the radio of officers stopping out on calls as they are happening we've had that happen with accidents before, But the worse are when our Officers are involved in something like an accident or sudden disturbance and they call out for help. Super not cool.

kittyatthedisco5 karma

What's the gender breakdown among dispatchers where you work?

I ask because I'm a female and when I tell people I work in law enforcement they always assume I'm a dispatcher.

Hahnsternator7 karma

I work with (on my shift) 3 other females, in my comm there are 2 guys including me, and the rest are females, and everyone who talks to me who doesn't think I'm a girl (happens a lot Idk why though) they think I'm an officer lol.

chintzy5 karma

What do you get paid (if you don't mind)

What was job training like and how much did you receive before taking calls, and how much was more "On the Job training"?

Hahnsternator10 karma

I get paid about 35 k annually, and I was in training for about a year before I was out of training and on my own, and we go to more training regularly. I got paid the same thru training and being on my own but I get a pay raise every year of around 2 to 3 percent.

Riglin40965 karma

Best penis related 911 call?

Hahnsternator4 karma

I don't believe I've had any I've had quite a lot of girls call about girly problems though.

mubbs1410 karma

Go on

Hahnsternator5 karma

Lol its usually not so please n't things, profuse bleeding, hardcore cramps, possible misscarriages.

mubbs146 karma

Sorry I asked.

Hahnsternator4 karma

It's no biggy lol

Mr_C_Baxter4 karma

I dont know if you want to answer it, but because of the alcohol vs. weed debate... what group is more often in trouble judging by the calls you get?

Hahnsternator5 karma

Alcohol defently. Unless you count synthetic Marijuana with the regular stuff because we have a large synthetic problem around here and 90% of people who do synthetic end up calling us because they are ODing. But regular marijuana, the only real time we deal with it is on traffic stops and when mom's find it in their teenage kids room lol.

Zekthros4 karma

Have you ever had to excuse yourself for a moment because a call made you laugh too much?

Hahnsternator4 karma

No but j have laughed silently on the phone with some people. Most of the time it's our officers on the radio that make us cackle, and each other.

Jeffums4 karma

What's the deal with airline food?

Hahnsternator5 karma

What's up with that stuff? No one knows! Good ice breaker though.

chr1554 karma

Have you ever received a call about someone you knew or a place you were familiar with?

Hahnsternator4 karma

Nothing involving them. My family doesn't live around here.

GeauxNate4 karma

Every had anyone call because they had something stuck up their butt?

Hahnsternator3 karma

Surprisingly no not yet I don't believe I've ever had a call involving sexual complications.

Kewl_FedOra4204 karma

If you had the chance to swap to another job with the same salary, would you? Or have you come to really love the job?

Hahnsternator9 karma

I absolutely love my job, I really don't think I could do anything else. I have been thinking of becoming a LEO though because that was my plan at first when I turned 21.

KTheOneTrueKing2 karma

What is an LEO?

Hahnsternator3 karma

A law enforcement officer

Mr_President0124 karma

Whats your favorite part about your job?

Hahnsternator8 karma

Without trying to sound extremely cheesy, It's helping people. I enjoy being there when people are facing the hardest times of their lives and helping them through it. I also enjoy being on Either Fire or PD radios when the shit hits the fan. Lots of fun getting busy like that.

Renrum3 karma

Is your PSAP in a position to receive texts, is so have you received any? I work Oregon's 911 service making maps for 911, what sort of maps do you all use and how helpful do you find them? Complaints?

Hahnsternator3 karma

No text yet, and we officially use our cassini an mapping that comes with our phone system, but I use the hell out of Google maps and it is extremely helpful

ClBlock3 karma

Do you dispatch PD only, or PD/FD/EMS? Annoyingly, we get no way to talk to PD Dispatch on our EMS/Fire radios to check on things like scene security.

Hahnsternator3 karma

We do city pd, and city and county fire/ems and we are all in the same room so we communicate very well.

ClBlock2 karma

Follow up question...why do you hate us? :P Also "Take a right at the barn" is not good directions. We honestly curse you for just about everything you ever do to us, but we still try to understand. I know you're not evil on purpose.

Hahnsternator2 karma

Haha yeah our CAD system requires a physical address to put the call in so it's better then the right at the red barn but we still get those directions because out in the county our city folk paramedics have no idea where they are going lol.

ClBlock2 karma

How do you feel when we hit you up to relay to the hospital for us? We rarely do it but sometimes if I'm running a code, I'll just key up dispatch channel and ask them to relay to whatever hospital what's going on. Is there anyway we can make that easier for you?

Hahnsternator2 karma

Our ems have a direct radio to the hospitals' ER so all it takes is a switch of a knob, the only time they ask us to relay info is when they have like a trauma activation but that's about it.

freddiesehgal3 karma

How do you react in times of extreme emergency,e.g. hostage situation?

Hahnsternator3 karma

I've never had a hostage situation but I do get more I. The zone when the shit hits the fan I handle the stress pretty well.

Cyan_Ninja3 karma

What is the most insignificant thing you have been called for?

Hahnsternator3 karma

Probably the lights being out, besides that we get calls about some dumb things like wanting to log a control burn, or cars parked in front of their house.

0ctavien3 karma

What's the most funniest call you have had?

Hahnsternator3 karma

Intentionally funny? Not to sure bit I did get a good laugh out of the man running naked through our mall high on laced cocaine.

miriammelans3 karma

Have you ever had a family member or someone close to you call for help?

Hahnsternator3 karma

I had an old friend call about a gas leak, that's about it.

Screengrab3 karma

How successful are you when talking people out of suicide and how many times have you had to do it?

Hahnsternator3 karma

Luckily I've never had anyone commit suicide while on the phone with me but one of my co workers had a person shoot themselves while on the phone with her. I've had to talk to maybe about 4 or 5 people threatening suicide directly to me ie not a 3rd party caller telling us about it.

SharpKeyCard3 karma

Any tips on how to get into the profession?

Is there any specific 'type of person' who tends to be in this field?

If you could change one thing about it (policies, equipment, anything) what would you change?

Hahnsternator6 karma

Call your local non emergency number and just ask if you can come in and watch for a while and that you are interested sadly I can't say if they are hiring but if you have a clean background you should be able to sit in and get a taste of the action. One of the type of people are the negative people or the people just there for the money. If you get into the profession make sure to not let the negativity get to you because it easily can and then you become one of them and it ain't no fun! And if I could change anything probably the dress code. We are behind 2 locked doors and no one ever sees us but we still have to wear dress clothes. I want to wear comfy clothes! Lol

silarity3 karma

It's an amazingly critical job that you do - what is your own support network? How do you cope?

Hahnsternator3 karma

Jokes, you have to keep light hearted about the job, Also I enjoy to play games to blow off steam, and listen to music. Also thank you!

Oberon_Sexton_3 karma

If you encountered George Bush Jr., would you let him "do" you?

Hahnsternator4 karma


tigerburning3 karma

What is the protocol when someone calls in speaking a different language to English? Is it ever hard trying to figure out what language they are speaking?

Hahnsternator3 karma

We have a program called language line we call and when the caller can't tell us what language or we can't tell they have someone who can detect it, all 24/7 too.

henchman173 karma

I've never needed to call 911. If I do, what are the basic questions you ask. What info do I need to have when I call in?

Hahnsternator4 karma

Address of the emergency, what is going on, ie disturbance, theft in preogress, feeling sick and any descriptions you can give the 911 operator ref the problem.

JawshAR2 karma

How long are your work shifts / when are your work shifts?

Hahnsternator2 karma

12 hour shifts, 4 days on 4 days off, 3 weeks of days 3 weeks of nights. Lather, rinse, repeat.

sciamatic2 karma

How did you apply for the job? It's something I'm sorta interested in looking into, but I have no idea how one "starts".

Hahnsternator1 karma

Well I went to my city's website and looked under careers but I kinda knew what I was getting myself into. I'd suggest call your local non emergency number, ask to speak to a supervisor and tell them you are interested and would like to see what it's all about, after a background check they may let you sit in on some calls!

lyridsreign2 karma

Hello! First off thank you for your work on doing what you do and making sure the right response teams are sent to the right location. My question is, with the increase on SWATTING, have you or your department taken measures on trying to identify calls that could be trying to do this? Also what is your favorite soft drink and why is it Dr. Pepper?

Hahnsternator1 karma

Well I haven't heard of this swatting but if it's a search warrant being served there is a lot of investigating that is done by our undercovers, and we only send out swat otherwise if the sgt on sight request them for a dire call, also yes it is Dr pepper and because of those 23 flavors!

Hahnsternator2 karma

For a small taste of how calls go here, I went from talking to a woman who thought 911 and (one of the 3 hospitals here) ER were the same thing, to a guy calling about his naked neighbor with a machete, to talking to a 14 year old about her mother having a seizure for the first time. Edit: typo

w25sg1 karma

Were you worried about the background check?

Hahnsternator1 karma

No I was not, I was a good kid and the worse thing I had was a speeding ticket. lol

NotExecutable1 karma

Have you ever called 911? If so, what's the reason?

Bonus: What if an emergency happens in your office? At my workplace, we need to call the emergency number for our country (112 / 110). I guess you don't have to do that?

Hahnsternator2 karma

I did call 911 before well honestly I don't remember if it was the non emergency number or 911 but it was before I worked there I was calling about to subjects that were high at our hastings bothering customers then they were about to drive off when the cops showed up. And if something happens in my comm center we have the appropriate units respond and if needed evacuate the building.

baildodger1 karma

Do you use AMPDS?

Hahnsternator1 karma

I'm guessing not since it doesn't ring a bell what is it used for? CAD?

baildodger1 karma

It's a medical triage system for use over the phone. We use it to establish priority of medical incidents and determine what response time an incident will get. It's widely used around the world, and was originally developed in the US.

Hahnsternator1 karma

Ah gotcha we use EMD Emergency Medical Dispatch, and ProQA for all our questions to ask people

Edit: typo

jewy331 karma

I am a 25yr old firefighter, wanted to say thank you, you guys watch our asses. That being said funniest call?

Hahnsternator2 karma

One I recently remember was a local lady of the night called us made because she didn't get her 20 bucks for a bj she gave to some random guy lol

Snarfler1 karma

Have you ever had a call where the person was being super non-descriptive about what happened? Like "Look I can't say what happened, I just need an ambulance."

Also I've called 911 before because some lady had her car halfway off a cliff contemplating whether to kill herself or not. I kept giving the dispatcher the address and asking "Are you sending someone? She is literally hanging off the cliff." And the dispatcher would not confirm that an ambulance/police where coming or that she would even contact them. Is that normal? Are you not allowed to confirm that you are sending someone to help? It was super frustrating because I live literally 3 blocks from a police station and it took them 15 minutes mainly because I was on the phone for 10 minutes with the dispatcher.

Hahnsternator2 karma

I have usually it's from people not wanting to admit they are involved in the call, and that is odd I always tell people if we have someone on the way because it's all public record and I'm not going to lie to someone about it, sadly we do have calls hold, not one like that though. I would tell you we are either getting someone on the way or they are on the way and be calling officers off lower priority calls, and refrence being close to the police dept, sadly if they are like us which they most likely are being closer to the police dept doesn't necessarily help, because all of our officers patrol the streets, only during business hours are there detective and administrative at the pd and they do not go out to those calls, I am sorry you had to wait so long but that is sometimes how the cookie crumbles. Now with that dispatcher not giving you info, we can tell when units are dispatched, enroute and on scene but can't see them via GPS or anything like that, she may have also been busy on one of the radios, I've taken a medical call while on fire dispatch and I tell people to hold on as i dispatch it (have to tone then give general description of call) and I have people try to talk to me while I'm going across the radio and they can't hear me, not trying to make excuses for that woman but who knows what it could've been.

MsNewKicks1 karma

(Sorry if this has been asked already, disregard if it has)

What are some of the most trivial things people have called 911 for?

Hahnsternator2 karma

I've been called about the power going out, neighbor dogs barking all night, not getting paid for giving someone a blowjob

jolefi1 karma

How much do you get paid? What area do you live in?

Hahnsternator1 karma

South texas, and I make about 35 k annually

jolefi2 karma

What type of training do you do for this position?

Hahnsternator2 karma

A lot. I had to learn a lot of emergency management and stress management training, how to handle calls, how to work the radio, how to properly talk to callers and get the info I need aka verbal judo. There is so much training g with this job and it's literally Neverending.

jolefi2 karma

Wow! That's crazy. Thanks for answering my questions. I've always thought that might be something I wanted to do, but physiologically I don't think I could handle it.

Hahnsternator2 karma

Try doing a ride along with your local pd, or see if you can come in and sit in on a few calls, it's a real eye opener.

mathmeintheface1 karma

When you say south do you mean rvg south or san antonio south

Hahnsternator1 karma

South of San Antonio, we are between Corpus Christi and Houston on us hwy 59.

Aryzcw1 karma

What is the worst situation that you have ever handled ?

Hahnsternator2 karma

The toughest is probably talking to someone who just found a loved one dead, because for that time until someone gets there it's just you and them and the only way you can comfort them is with your words and you are trying to comfort them over a person you kitterally know nothing about.

distractedsuperhero1 karma

Do you feel that your job has impacted your life and/or the way you view the world either positively or negatively? Surely starting a high stress job like that at such a young age has had to do something.

Hahnsternator1 karma

Well I've always felt older then I am but it has had a huge impact on me I see the world out of completely different eyes, I've lost a lot more faith in humanity but also hold life more dear, and it has taken a toll on me. My wife has found white hairs on me and I've had some winkles lol everyone thinks I'm older then I really am. But I do love the job.

Raymx31 karma

One time I prank called 911. How do you deal with pranksters?

Hahnsternator1 karma

If it's a kid we try to convince them to bring the phone to the mom or get into if they are older and just being an asshole we will try to locate them and try to charge them with abuse of a 911 system. It can be a real pain having a bunch of young kids saying they hate you and want you to die and stuff like that but you just gotta shake it off

Hawkince1 karma

Have you had anyone call you for unrelated reasons to your job?

Hahnsternator1 karma

At work or personally? At work all the time people call us for numbers, addresses, stuff like that, and when I'm out of work not really.

Hermiesterberger1 karma

What is the number one thing the general populous can do to make better use of the 911 system?

Hahnsternator1 karma

No 1 would be know when to call 911 and when to call the non regency number, no 2 would be to give pertinent info ie location, description of what's going on, description of subj and or vehicles, no 3 would learn to lock phones so 911 butt dials don't happen

GameByPixel1 karma

Do you have to be able to act on your toes whenever there is a call? Or is it basically the same thing regardless of the situation?

Hahnsternator1 karma

Sometime one sometimes the other. You've gotta act on your toes because no two calls are the same, and you never know how a call will go but also some calls can follow a general guideline in the way of questions we ask

beri20111 karma

Have you ever been prank called ?

Hahnsternator2 karma

Multiple times mostly by little kids wanting to say little kid mean things.

postcg1 karma

how accurate was halle berry's movie?

Hahnsternator2 karma

It had its moments, but I would not be going Into a dark hole by self with no weapons lol

postcg1 karma

yeah. that kinda ruined it for me. but the rules they followed and technical capabilities were accurate?

Hahnsternator2 karma

Pretty much we most of the time can get a rough location on a phone and can keep getting a location if it's moving and that is what we would want to do is keep them in the phone and know what is going on and if they see anything or stuff like that.

Shadows231 karma

What's the most frequent reason people call?

Hahnsternator1 karma

We get a good load of medical calls, non medical though usually are disturbances.

Ben_Wynaut1 karma

How frequent are false alarms?

Hahnsternator2 karma

False alarms like burglary alarms? Or false alarms like 911 hang ups? False burglary alarms are pretty frequent but we still get some good ones from time to time. And 911 hang ups that are butt dials are very high I'd day about 90% of them are accidental

Ben_Wynaut1 karma

That sounds incredibly awkward. "Oops, I just accidentally called 911 lol!"

edit: yeah, I meant false alarms as in somebody thought there was an emergency.

Hahnsternator2 karma

Yeah they always tell us they butt dialed us lol

glowingmagus1 karma

Do you often get calls that are rather mundane and unnecessary? (i.e. raccoons eating through trash, car parked on residential street, etc) How do you deal with these situations? Thanks

Hahnsternator2 karma

Yes we get those frquently, usually we tell them to call our non emergency number, which comes Into the same place but as a lower priority.

nizon1 karma

Have you ever had the same complainant reach you when calling back on the non emergency number?

Hahnsternator1 karma

Sometimes, if I know I am going to be talking to them again I give them our non emergency number, handle their call and tell them next time if it's not an emergency to call that number because people don't like being told to call another number, just to get the same guy, that makes them upset lol.

jezza1381 karma

How long are your shifts and how many other dispatchers work each shift per location?

Hahnsternator2 karma

We work 12 hour shifts, 4 days on, 4 days off, 3 weeks of days, then 3 weeks of nights. And we have 4 shifts working, so 2 different shifts working each day. With between 3 and 5 dispatchers on each shift.

Erected_naps1 karma

Craziest emergency call you've ever had?

Hahnsternator2 karma

One time we received a call from an alarm company reporting a fire alarm at a house in a neighborhood, we started sending a single engine, after about 5 minutes we get calls from other houses in the neighborhood saying that a house in the neighborhood just exploded. So the house ended up being completely leveled due to a spark after a large gas leak in the house. The fire alarm call we got, was from another house down the road, about 100 yards away from the ground zero house. Also destroyed most of the houses around it.

Erected_naps1 karma

Holy shit! What could have caused that kind of explosion? Gas?

Hahnsternator2 karma

Yeah i think it was a propane leak, the husband left earlier that morning, and its suspected when the mother woke up she started the stove to warm a bottle for their baby and the spark caused the house to go.