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


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.

What’s it like at 9-1-1? It’s like this…

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Our center is not as roomy or well lit (too many of my co-workers want to work in the dark!), but this video gives a great overview of most modern 9-1-1 centers.  We don’t have to do the medical pre-arrival aspect in our center, that’s handled by the Tulare County Consolidated Ambulance Dispatch staff, and the Tulare County Fire Department has their own dispatch center, but everything else is pretty spot-on.  Whatever the type of call, we deal with it first, directing it to TCCAD or TCFD if required, or taking information and dispatching Tulare County Sheriff Deputies, or police officers from Farmersville, Exeter, Woodlake, and Lindsay Police Departments.  Prince George’s County, Maryland, has a state-of-the-art 9-1-1 center, and is an example to which other centers can aspire.  Every type of incident here, except the medical instructions, is something I’ve dealt with in the past, and just when you think you’ve heard it all, the Universe will toss something at you, as if to say “oh, no you haven’t!”.

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