25 years, 3 weeks, 12 hours. 9-1-1 and done.

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August 2, 2019. After 25 years, 3 weeks, and 12 hours, I’m officially retired. Here’s a look back at some of what I saw.

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That’s a wrap!

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25 years, 3 weeks, 12 hours.

That’s how long I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Friday was my last day.  Here’s my signoff on the radio.

Here’s the text:

Calling all cars, calling all cars, and units and stations
copy BOL

(break)

Visalia one continuing,

After 25 years, 3 weeks, and 12 hours, “Radio, Jim” is officially 10-42 at 1800 hours.
It’s been my pleasure and honor to be one of the voices on the other end of this radio and the phone for that time.

Being able to support you, and serve the citizens of Tulare County as part of the team here in dispatch, has been at times nerve wracking, infuriating, suspenseful, frequently amusing, but always rewarding. I can’t imagine having done anything else as a career. (well, astronaut, maybe, but NASA never seemed interested)

My time here has seen three sheriffs, six dispatch supervisors, and various shift supervisors. Sometimes I wonder how many deputies and officer’s voices have come across my headset? There’s been a bunch, and sometimes it seemed like they were all trying to talk at once!

Being a dispatcher means being part of a team, and I want to compliment all of the dispatchers I’ve worked with over the years. The comeraderie and support for each other is what makes this place operate so well. I feel fortunate to have been a part of that.

So now I hang up my headset for the last time, and head off into retirement. Thank you for putting up with me, and for allowing me to be part of this family and team. Stay safe, be nice to the dispatchers, and know that from time to time I’ll be listening.

Visalia 1, Dispatcher Reeves, clear at (time)

Now, time to relax, reflect, take some bike rides and country drives, and cogitate on what comes next.

I may have worked my last night shift

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face-screaming-in-fear I may have worked my last night shift.

After 24 1/2 years, almost all of them on night shift, Monday begins the next rotation, to day shifts. I’m not looking forward to it.

My first three months, way back in the summer of 1994, were on dayshift during my training. Once released (yes, three whole months of training back then), I went to swing shift, 5pm to 3am. I stayed there, with a couple of switches to graveyard (9pm to 7am), until October of 2017, when we began our new 12 hour shifts.  That put me on days, 6 am to 6 pm.  After six months of that mess, my team rotated to nights. Now it’s that time again, and back we go to days.

But why may I have worked my last night shift? Because by the time we rotate back to nights, I hope to be retired!

July or September, depending on a few things. But regardless, I hope to be out of there before we rotate back to nights.

That also means I’ll never work in a new dispatch center. By the time one gets up and running, I’ll be long retired. Sigh.

Oh well.

Road trip!

 

“At the tone, the time will be…”

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04042019

These kind of things are going to make an old man out of me!

… to f’n late in my day.

A mandatory meeting for work, held three hours after getting off a twelve hour shift.

In a 9-1-1 center.

I should be sound asleep now, but duty calls. Or something like that.

Good thing I love my job. (most of the time)

Don’t bother me later, I’ll be asleep!

When is a zero not a zero?

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no-zeroWhen is a zero not a zero? Turns out, when it’s an ‘o’.

For almost 25 years, I’ve been a 9-1-1/law enforcement dispatcher. One task of many in dispatching is to check DMV, DOJ, and national databases for registration and stolen status on vehicles. These checks are usually done by the license plate number, but sometime we have to use the Vehicle Identification Number, also known as the VIN.

From day one of my training, way back in 1994, I was told there are two characters never used in VINs. The letter ‘o’, and the letter ‘i’. This is because they are generally indistinguishable from zeros and ones, especially on VIN plates located on vehicle dashboards or engines. Simple. Every time you see 0 or 1 in a VIN, they are numbers, not letters.

Until yesterday.

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When is an emergency not an emergency?

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donald_trump_02152019_emergency

“Big hands”? You decide.

I know emergencies, and, let me tell you, this isn’t one of them!

Betcha’ thought I was going to talk to you about 9-1-1 calls, didn’t you?

Nope, this time it’s all about a grifter who managed to get himself elected President of the United States invoking emergency powers to bypass Congress and the Constitution.

Can you imagine the hue and cry if President Obama had declared a national emergency, bypassed Congress, and imposed single payer?  Our health care system actually is in crisis, but the GOP would have blown it’s collective gasket.

The Republicans and their base, however, are just fine with Hair Furor attempting an end run around the Constitution and the funding mechanisms of the United States government.

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I’ve decided. I’m jumping off that building.

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vis_Marriott

Yep. From a top floor balcony. Right over the edge.

No, I’m not depressed, or suicidal.

I’ll be joining up to 91 other “jumpers” as we rappel down the (other) side of one of the tallest buildings in Visalia. And it’s all for a good cause.

We’ll be participating in “Visalia Over the Edge“, a fundraising campaign for The Source LGBT+ Center. The Source is Tulare and Kings Counties LGBT+ community and resource center, currently operating out of a small office space in downtown Visalia. (208 W. Main, Suite B, Visalia. Downstairs in the Montgomery Square.) We’ve outgrown our center, and need to raise money for expansion to a larger facility. This event will kick off our fund-raising efforts to acquire a building large enough to serve our communities.

I had to think about this for a while before committing to taking part, as I’m a bit unsettled by heights. (oddly, not while in a helicopter or plane. Mostly when looking down the side of a tall building. That glass observation thing, the Sky Deck, on the Sears Tower? You’d never get me to step into that.) I’ve decided I’m going to do it, regardless. I’ll convince myself by saying it’s a “bucket list” experience, and off we’ll go. Over the side. Nine floors. That’s not all that high, right?

I’ve set a goal of $2,500 to be raised, essentially by begging. 😉  The minimum to “jump” is $1,000 but I wanted to go a bit bigger. So…

This is me begging you for some money! Yep, hat in hand, asking “buddy, can you spare a dime? Or $20? Or $100?” Here’s the link to my fund-raising page, please go there and give The Source LGBT+ Center some money. I’ll be ever so grateful.

On November 10th, 2018, come join us at the Marriott, and watch as they toss this dispatcher Over the Edge!

Just don’t call 9-1-1, even if I’m screaming, please.

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