Monthly Archives: February 2007

Happy Birthday 9-1-1

Happy Birthday 9-1-1

Got this from the 911LifeLine Yahoo group.

On February 16, 1968, the first 9-1-1 call is placed by Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite from Haleyville City Hall to U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill at the city’s police station. Bevill reportedly answered the phone, “Hello.” The Alabama Telephone Company had beaten ATT&T’s implementation by 35 days. Twelve days later, on February 22, 1968, Nome, Alaska implements 9-1-1 service.

The complete history of 9-1-1: http://www.911dispatch.com/911/history/

Data Entry Test

Data Entry Test

Wow. I actually heard back from Kenosha County. I have to go take a typing test. I called to find out if there was somewhere I could take it down here, but she said the job centers aren’t that well connected. They’re going to try and get me a back-to-back testing date for the data entry and the other written test which I really appreciate.

Now I just need to work on my accuracy. I have to do 6200 kph (which works out to like 30 wpm) with 95% accuracy. The speed, not the problem. I tend to type too fast and end up backspacing a lot. I wonder if they count it against you if you correct when you realize you made a mistake.

I think I’ll just take Treva’s advice and slow down and work on the accuracy since I know I can type around 70 wpm.

It’s kind of exciting. Although, I’ve gotten to the testing phase before for other jobs, so it’s really nothing new. Nonetheless, it’s kind of cool.

Update: The personnel department called back. If I want to guarentee a spot for the data entry test I need to go on the 26, 27, 1st, or 2nd. She said the Job Center couldn’t guarentee an appointment when the next Saturday written test is since they don’t know when. So, unless God leads me otherwise, I think the plan is this. I’m going to get to Indy on March 1, take MegaBus to Chicago, Metra it to Kenosha and crash with the familia. I’ll take the test Friday and come back Saturday… or Monday. Whichever is cheaper. Yeah, I’m cheap. I know. 🙂

Snow, You Suck

Snow, You Suck

Dear Snow,

In the future please endeavour to fall only on the portions of the earth normally covered by grass. This would enable me to continue being my normal jovial pedestrian self without falling on a snowbank and severely twisting my ankle.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
In Pain in Richmond

P.S. This sounds incredibly familiar. I believe we had this same discussion last year. If your aggressive behavior continues, I will be forced to seek legal counsel.

Six Weird Things About Me–Treva

Six Weird Things About Me–Treva

I’m finally delurking to do my Six Weird Things post. Enjoy. It will be another year before I return :-).


  1. I still collect Beanie Babies.
  2. When I am overtired, or extremely excited, I act like a hyperactive five-year-old. Tony can attest to this.
  3. I use Amish coloquielisms without thinking about it.
  4. My right arm is shorter than my left arm, and has two “elbows”.
  5. I have absolutely no body piercings (including ears). I don’t care about them on others, I just don’t care for them on myself.
  6. I play alphabet games to help myself fall asleep.

Six Weird Things About Me

Six Weird Things About Me

Rebekah a local(ish), I think, dispatcher whose blog I stumbled across a while back tagged all her readers to come up with their Six Weird Things list. Here goes nothing…


  1. I was born with two extra fingers and an extra toe. The fingers were complete with bones and I wonder what kind of typeist I could have been if they had left them on.
  2. It is rare that I can sleep with absolute silence. I usually have to be reading a book or listening to a podcast or have some other source of noise. I often wake up with a headphone cord wrapped around my torso in the morning.
  3. I still listen to Adventures in Odyssey even though it is geared at children. I don’t care. Brings back good memories :-).
  4. When I’m flying alone, most of the time I am asleep before the safety briefing and wake up sometime once the plane has touched down.
  5. Instead of merely sticking to the regular playground equipment, my cousin and I also conquered the police department’s obstical course when we were kids.
  6. I am often mistaken for a highschool student in person and a woman on the telephone.

I am also going to tag all my readers to do this. I want to find out interesting things about you.

Another 9-1-1 Job Possibility?

Another 9-1-1 Job Possibility?

Last night I received an e-mail from my father with a link to a job posting for a Public Safety 9-1-1 Dispatcher with Kenosha City/County Joint Services. KCCJS is a consolidated public safety group providing, among other services, 9-1-1 dispatching to all law enforcement and fire/rescue services in Kenosha County… Wisconsin. (Yeah, I knnow I’m threatening to leave Richmond again.)

I read through the info and filled out the application. Let me tell you, this was a pretty serious application too. Six pages, plus a 2 page checklist (which I will explain more about later). Additionallly they said you could give them copies of your resume, and any relevant educational information. I enclosed my highschool transcript and copies of the certificates I’ve earned from FEMA’s independent study courses. All told, it was 15 pages worth of stuff when I dropped it off at the post office today. Hopefully it will all arrive by the deadline on Friday.

What I found particularly interesting in this application was the “Dispatcher Checklist.” This 2-page document was a list of 30 odd items that they would like a potential applicant to consider before applying for the job. The application packet sites an unacceptable rate of attrition of new dispatchers because they are unaware of the more difficult aspects of the position. They ask that you read and consider each item and check it off indicating your consideration.

I found this an interesting approach to curbing the attrition rate. I’m not entirely sure how effective it will be considering you could easily check things off without reading them. I’m sure that lack of attention will show up eventually, but I’d be interested in seeing some statistics relating to this before and after including the checklist in the application packet. Below is the list they included.


    WORKING ENVIRONMENT
  1. Unable to physically leave your worksite (i.e. walk around, use the restroom, get coffee, etc.) At any time other than two 15 minute breaks and a 20 minute lunch scheduled dependent upon workload
  2. Unable to schedule your own lunch or rest breaks
  3. Unable to smoke at your worksite at any time
  4. Work at a small, confined work area in a room with low lighting
  5. Have a very limited opportunity to talk with your fellow workers during your work shift
  6. Work within an organization structured on the “military” model, i.e – Working through a highly structured “chain-of-command” -Having all phone and radio activities monitored/taped       -Having a disciplinary policy
  7. During training, be regularly reminded of errors and mistakes
  8. Work at a rapid pace over which you have little control
  9. Maintain intense concentration and attention for extended periods
  10. During training receive a daily rating of your job performance including criticism
  11. Work at a radio console and a computer terminal at keyboard rate of 30 wpm for a full shift
  12. Required to work different shifts
  13. Required to work weekends on a regular basis
  14. Work Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and any or all holidays
  15. Obtain child care between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (swing shift) or 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (graveyard shift) as well as during the day
  16. Obtain child care for weekends and holidays on a regular basis
  17. Work overtime, before or after a shift, sometimes with little notice
  18. Have limited choice about which shift you are assigned to work
  19. Have limited choice of which days you work
  20. During on-the-job training, you may have to work all shifts
  21. Be in a high stress environment
  22. May be criticized by co-workers, officers and/or citizens



    TYPES OF CALLS

  23. Answer telephone calls where someone screams at you
  24. Answer telephone calls where the caller directs obscene language at you
  25. Answer telephone calls from suicidal subjects
  26. Answer and respond to telephone calls where the caller is hysterical, intoxicated, irrational, or confused
  27. Answer and respond to rescue and fire calls
  28. Give medical instruction over the phone
  29. Answer and respond to calls where a violent crime is in progress
  30. Answer and respond to telephone calls in which the caller is almost impossible to understand
  31. Make quick decisions on which one or more person’s safety is at stake
  32. Prioritize calls to be dispatched, deciding which is most serious
  33. Tell someone who expects police service that their problem does not require police unit response

After reading through this, and being aware of most of it from sit-alongs at WCECD and dispatcher blogs, I still want to give this a shot. Probably proves I’m a little nuts, but, as most of you know, I really have been interested in this type of work for a long time. We’ll see what comes of it.