The Duck of Justice for 4/20/17: The Voice
From The Bangor Police Department:
The baby woke her up at 12:10am. 12-10 was also her anniversary to the man that lay snoozing with one foot hanging over the edge of the bed. His unclothed calves shone brightly in the dim light of the green hued digital Emerson clock radio. He needed some sun, but this is Maine in the winter. He would get no sun and she covered him up.
She wished he would buy new pajamas. No one needs to see all that at 12:10am.
The good and the bad news was that she needed to be in the communications center at 0300hrs to pay back her co-worker for working this past December 10th in order for her to have the night off to go to dinner with Mr. Snoozy. Dinner was good. Payback was a ($*#@.
He never wakes up when the baby cries. Or does he? He certainly would make a great sloth, possibly a possum. He could play dead with the best of them. He worked shift work too. He was finally on evenings after 14 years. He deserved it. She let him sleep.
The baby stopped crying the minute she picked him up and spoke to him. A bottle, diaper, a belch and her work here was completed.
The next time he cried, her husband would have to get up. She wouldn’t be there anyway. She would be answering the phone at the police department. Oh the joy and glamour of the shift-working mother. She loved her job as a dispatcher, but it was brutal on her internal clock. Much worse since the baby was born.
The dispatch center was quiet. She would take the fire department tonight. They all swapped off, one night dispatching the fire and EMS side, one night the police. She was hoping for no calls. She only had to work until 10 am to pay back Jimmy for the night off. It was good of him to work for her.
Vacation days were hard to get since they had been running short staffed. Everyone pulled their weight. Jimmy pulled more than his weight. They were all close in the com-center. You had to be close as you spent more time with them than with your own family.
Holidays were like any other day, except someone would bring in leftovers for them to feel like they were having a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Not the same, but not bad. She wished for wine, all she got was whine. Complainants can be needy and a little pushy.
Her first call was for the transport of an 84-year-old woman with severe chest pain. The patient’s husband had called before and if his wife continued on this path, he would need their help again.
The man was so sweet on the phone. He recognized the dispatcher’s voice. He calmed considerably when she told him that the paramedics would be there in less than three minutes.
He told her he would turn the porch light on. She was happy he remembered. Her tone made him feel somehow better. She remembered his name and he felt like he had a friend. It was a typical call for her, but for the man-she was an angel.
Tonight his wife would be fine.
The old man would speak to the dispatcher again in a few weeks when his wife passed away suddenly in the night. He didn’t know that yet, but her voice would make the difference.
The voice that calmed the baby was the same voice that would make the death of his wife more tolerable. Horrific…but better.
That’s why she does this.
**Thank you to our dispatchers during this week that celebrates and brings recognition to one of the most thankless jobs in public safety. I couldn’t do your job for even a moment. We all appreciate you. I am not sending flowers, all I have are words. They will never be enough.**
Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.
They will be here.