Sometimes the universe just plays games with us

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notrafficFriday

Around 11pm on a Friday, just after a full Moon, on a winter day where the temperature hit 72 degrees that afternoon.  It’s almost scary.

You found what?? And you did what with them???

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GrenadesSometimes you really have to wonder.

Tonight we received a call on 9-1-1 from a woman who said she was in our parking lot and needed to have a deputy come out to speak to her immediately.  When asked why she needed a deputy, she said she had been clearing out her deceased mother’s residence and had discovered two hand grenades, had brought them here, and needed someone to come get them.

That of course required the local bomb squad be called out, as the initial deputies determined that they appeared to be real, live grenades.

One of the incredible things about this caller was that she was getting very upset that we were unable to get someone out to her in four minutes, so she called back wanting to know what the delay was about.  (the deputies are out on patrol, not in the building!)  We got someone out shortly thereafter, they called the bomb squad, and the grenades were disposed of by the bomb techs.  It didn’t dawn on her, apparently, that handling and transporting them was probably more dangerous than sitting in the parking lot waiting!

Sigh.

Rule of grenades (or other explosive devices) #1 – Leave them alone, and call 9-1-1!  Don’t pick them up, don’t drive them someplace in your car, and don’t get huffy with the 9-1-1 operator trying to help you!

Rule of grenades (or other explosive devices) #2 – See rule #1

A Day in LGBT America – The Advocate

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Advocate_day_in

The Advocate asked for submissions for a piece on “A Day in LGBT America”, so I sent one in. They chose it as one of those posted on the web.  It brings up the end of the day, since I took it at 10:48 pm.

Advocate_day_in_jim

Workin’ the OT

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10-4-2013 Tulare County Sheriff’s Dispatch, Channel 1, south end of Tulare County.

jim_at_work_10042013

Hey! Donkey! (said in your best Shrek voice)

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Donkeyshrek

So every once in a while, the routine stuff gets to be a bit fun to play with.  Even if most of the funny is only in my own head.


Full Moon Effect Disproven

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Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 5.14.47 AMI’ve been steadfast and firm in my conviction.  For years I’ve maintained, in the face of unrelenting public opinion to the contrary, that the full Moon has no effect on “the crazy”.

People claim that emergency room nurses and police officers all swear by the “full Moon” lore, that insists everything goes nuts on a full Moon.

Well, last night I disproved it.  Or, I should say, my dispatch center’s traffic levels disproved it.

Last night, at 6:45 pm Pacific Time, the Moon was full.  It was a calm, peaceful night.  No shootings, no stabbings (well, no stabbings by one person on another. There was one troubled kid who tried to stab himself, but for this discussion, he doesn’t count.  He’s just a troubled kid, not a lunatic.)  A few fights, a couple of loud music calls, a couple of badge bunnies, and a computer at one of the facilities that decided to let all the magic smoke out of it’s innards, setting off smoke alarms and scaring the DSOs.  A really easy shift, all things considered.

Now, the night BEFORE the full Moon, that was just crazy town!

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Oh, I didn’t just say that…

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dohI can’t believe I said that to the 9-1-1 caller.  It was unintentional, totally inappropriate, and had everyone in the room in fits of giggles.

Other dispatchers will understand the sometimes dark humor we express in our jobs, and how something that to an outside observer (or the brass) will seem completely humorless, but will have us guffawing and giggling for hours afterwards.  Something like that happened to me yesterday, and it involved a crashed aircraft and it’s pilot stuck on a rockface above a lake.

I really meant it to be reassuring, but it sure didn’t come out that way!

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Call 9-1-1 First!

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picard-facepalmIt happened again!  Someone called someone else who called someone else, who called 9-1-1!  SMH

An armed robber walked up to a food stand, brandished a firearm, and demanded cash.  The clerk didn’t understand English, and the bad guy ran off.  Rather than call 9-1-1, she called her boss, who called someone else, who called the police!

While all this was going on, an armed suspect was making his get-away, and since nobody bothered to tell anyone the description of the robber, we have no way to spot him while units are enroute.

RULE #1 – Call 9-1-1 first!  It doesn’t matter what language you speak, we can get a translator on the line quicker than you can call someone else, tell them what happened, and then have them call.

Want to piss off a dispatcher? Act like you’re the only unit on the radio!

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05162013

We have procedures officers in the field are supposed to follow on the radio.  They are designed to allow the quickest, most efficient transfer of information possible.  It really gums up the works, and creates needless stress, when radio traffic is not conducted according to those procedures.

Last night, the 4th of July, was one of those nights that will have me cursing the name of a particular unit for a long time.  Those in the know will probably figure out who I mean just from their own knowledge of the departments and personel involved, but I’m not going to name names (or unit numbers!) (even though my “about” blurb says the guilty will be hung out to dry!  It is my job, so I have to be minimally diplomatic in this rant.  I may still hear about it from upper echelons).  I’m going to hope it’s simply a training issue, and not a case of “I’m the most important thing on this radio channel, and you better be able to handle what ever I do regardless of how many other things are going on!”.

How can any unit in the field not realize that there are 20-25 units on the same radio channel, it’s a national holiday, it’s hot as hell, and their dispatch center is a small room in the basement of the jail building?  Are you not listening?  You just key up and start talking?  Really?

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Dispatching at warp speed

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Photo on 6-25-13 at 1.24 AM #2
Dispatching at warp speed. “Sub-space channels open, Captain!”

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