Who Am I – Author Unknown

This was given to me by a fellow I worked with. He saw it in a magazine years ago. The author was unknown at the time, still is. I changed it to pertain to Surrey Fire Service and we gave it to our Battalion Chief, Ed, as a gift Christmas 1999. It still rings true, and brings me back in time to when I was still active. Some of the memories will never fade…

Arlene – Retired Surrey Fire Service – Dispatcher

Who Am I?

I am the voice that calms the mother when she calls stating; her child has started a fire while playing with matches.  Or the cooking pot on top of the stove caught on fire.

I am the invisible hand that holds and comforts the person reporting their friend has been injured in a mountain climbing accident.

I am the friend who talks to the disgruntled caller when they cannot breathe during open burning season.

I sent help when you had your first automobile accident.

I am the one who tries to obtain the information from callers to ensure that the scene is safe for those I dispatch to emergencies – all the while anticipating the worst and hoping for the best.

I am the psychologist who readily adapts my language and tone of voice to serve the needs of my callers with compassion and understanding.

I am the ears that listen to the needs of all those I serve.

I have heard the screams of faceless people I never will meet, nor forget.
I have cried at the atrocities of mankind and rejoiced at the miracles of life.

I was there, though unseen by my comrades in the field during the most trying emergencies.

I have tried to visualize the scene to coincide with the voices I heard.

At times I am not privy to the outcome of a call, and so I wonder…

I am the one who works weekends, strange shifts and holidays. Children do not say they want my job when they grow up. Yet, I am at this vocation by choice.

Those I help very seldom call back to say thank you.

Still there is comfort in the challenge, integrity, and purpose of my employment.

I am thankful to provide such a meaningful service.

I am a mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.

I am where you need me and still here when you don’t.

The dispatch room is never empty, and the work here is never done. I am always on call.  The training is strenuous, demanding and endless. No two days at work are ever the same.

Who am I?

I am a Fire Dispatcher.


About Arlene Pretty

I am married and live in Langley, BC, Canada. I am a retired Fire Service Dispatcher. I spend a lot of my time working on my blog and am Manager of Details for my husband’s business Ed’s Woodturning. In my spare time I enjoy motorcycle touring and have been across Canada and through a lot of the US on my bike. I also enjoy cruising in the winter. I am also an avid genealogist spending most of my time working on our tree and helping friends build theirs. I became a grandmother 5 Sept 2018 and love every minute I get to spend with my grandson.
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