I've worked as a 911 Dispatcher for eight years now. I'm the first person you call in an emergency or sometimes even when you just want to gripe to someone. My training and my voice help calm you, guide you, and keep you together until proper emergency personnel arrive. I'm cussed at on an almost daily basis. Sometimes because you think I don't send help fast enough. Sometimes because you want to take your frustrations out on someone and I'm the "lucky" recipient to get the butt chewin'.
I'm not in my job for the recognition. Because, believe me, we don't get it often. For the most part, I enjoy my job and helping others. It's a good feeling to know you've talked someone through a life-threatening situation. I've been doing it for eight years and foresee doing it for many more.
Yesterday a group of retired senior volunteers dropped off a box of goodies in appreciation for what we do, on the anniversary of 9/11. Included was bottled water, Gatorade, peanuts, homemade trail mix and cookies, pens, date calendars, and more. The goodies were great (especially the cookies) but the gesture was greater. It reassured me that people do care.
I don't consider myself a hero and especially don't think of myself as one during the time of 9/11. The real heroes are the dispatchers who took the calls that day, and the other emergency personnel and rescue workers who pulled together to make some sense out of total chaos. Still yet, it's always nice to be recognized and I certainly appreciate the appreciation.