Dec 30th 2016 by nxcto • 62 Questions • 1271 Points
Hey Reddit! I'm a 911 dispatcher here to welcome your questions, provide insight, and hopefully gain a little visibility for a profession that usually only enters the public eye when we screw up!
I work in a PSAP (Public Safety Access/Answering Point) meaning that we dispatch for every agency in my county, which includes Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, and other agencies. My center specifically handles calls and radio dispatch for the County Sheriff, local Police, 10 separate Fire Departments, the Forestry Service, EMS, the local Rescue Squad/independant first responders, State Parks, and Animal Control!
Thank you, everyone, for your support, your time, and your questions! I have to sign off for a bit, but I promise I will return and try to answer everything that's been asked!
Call us if you need us!
Here are answers to some common questions!
1) When should I call 911?
Any time you believe yourself or someone else to be in danger, or if you are in a situation that you cannot handle on your own, please do not hesitate to call! We would always rather you call and we send someone out and it end up being a non-emergency, than you hesitate and something bad happen. Call!
2) How do I get a job as a dispatcher?
Our center does not require any kind of degree beyond a high school diploma. I personally just found a job posting on my County's website and applied! The next step is a skills/aptitude test which will test your typing speed (at least 35 words/minute), your reading comprehension, listening skills, and your ability to multitask. If you pass this, then you usually will have a panel interview with several people from the dispatch center, which is honestly just about like every other interview I've ever had. The questions are fairly generic, they're mainly looking for clear communication, and a background in customer service is a plus since that's essentially what you're doing, serving the public. After you get hired, you'll be trained very thoroughly, certified in every area the center requires, and then start your probationary period (mine was six months).
3) Can you trace a call?
Yes and no, essentially. Landline calls will usually give us a reliable physical address. Cell Phone calls will usually give us a GPS location on our map that's accurate within about 30 yards. VOIP calls function mostly like landline calls on our end, but have less accuracy on average. That said, all of these can and do fail from time to time, so it is always best to tell us your location!
4) What's the most important information to tell 911 when I call?
Location! Location!! LOCATION!!!!
If we know nothing else, your location will let us send help and we can go from there! Yes, we would love to know what is going on in the situation, but as soon as we get your location we can start sending help, so please tell us that first, and then while someone else is dispatching responders, the call taker will try to get the rest of that information and let the units know as we go
5) What happens if someone calls and hangs up, or says nothing, or is unable to speak to the dispatcher due to the situation/a dangerous person in the room?
Every center has different policies about this. For a call where someone calls and just immediately hangs up, my center will still send an officer to check it out because we have the time and resources to do so. Other centers will not send anyone if they don't hear signs of distress. For a call where the call is connected but you don't say anything (called an "open line"), we will listen as long as we can and try to hear voices or noises that could tell us what's going on, then act accordingly. Do we hear yelling or arguing? Gun shots? A car radio playing like you butt-dialed in the car? For callers who have called and cannot answer questions because there is someone dangerous nearby We will try to get you to somehow answer yes or no questions if possible, but if you are in that situation and cannot say anything, try and set the phone down discreetly and just let us listen to what's going on. We may be able to hear enough to know what's going on, but if no sounds of distress are heard, then again it's up to the center's policy as to whether an officer is sent or not. I wish that every center could send an officer to every open line/hang up call that comes in, but it just isn't feasible even though we will try our best to figure out what is going on.
*********************EDIT#3********************************************* Gold and front page! Thank you all so SO much for your awesome questions and for your support! I promise I'm still trying to answer all the questions I can! Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve!
Were your exact words before being stabbed, "What are you going to do stab me?"
Well I'm gonna be the first to ask the obvious- why did you quit??
Thanks for doing an AMA. So I just want to know, what ship you designed changed the most from the first idea to the final model? Oh and what do you think about the newer ships in the SW franchise that are based on your ideas?
If I'm being pulled over by a civilian vehicle with a siren light on the roof like a detectives car in tv shows should I call 911 before pulling over? I'd be concerned that it was someone trying to rob me with a $10 light off eBay. What should one do in this situation to confirm the "officer" is legit?
I felt (a) unprepared, (b) underqualified, and (c) unsupported.
(a) The majority of the knowledge I gained during my time in college was of no use to me whatsoever. Most of the focus was on early childhood students and my professors all told me (us, I guess) that all we had to do was trust our students and be there for them and everything else would fall into place. When myself and others in my cohort in school would ask about more 'refined' behavioral issues (for lack of a better term), they'd shrug it off and say "Just do this and you won't have that problem." Everything was so idealistic for them and it became obvious later on how out of touch with teaching they were. So when I landed my job, I was naïve as could be and was overwhelmed from the second it started by student behaviors, shifting policies within the district/state, and the sheer workload.
(b) Beyond just not bracing for a realistic classroom setting, my school was a full inclusion setting, meaning kids in special education attended general education classes as often as possible. I love the system and think it's the way to go, but I had almost no realistic education for how to approach moderate/severe disabilities as a teacher. I didn't really know any of the available accessibility technologies or techniques for actually getting the major points across. Even assessing a student with severe disabilities was an enigma for me. I reached out for help from various sources, but each person told me so many different and conflicting things that I never managed to get it right.
(c) In the two weeks prior to the school year, I discovered I wouldn't have curriculum for my students. That's, like, a big deal. It's the road map of what you teach, and when/how to teach it. There was no mentor from the district that was promised when I was hired earlier in the summer. There were no textbooks or class novels. I had to work in the librarian at my school to apply for a state grant just to BUY THE PREVIOUS YEAR'S NOVELS, as I was then going off of that curriculum. My principal was letting all the 'rough' parents walk all over her when she was supposed to be a barrier between them and us teachers. Upper administration in the district had very little concern for any of my grievances, too, as there were a number of seat swaps in the headquarters and policies changing just as rapidly.
I never claimed to be a great teacher and I do blame much of my hardship on myself, but I was certainly never given an environment to thrive in.
The Millennium Falcon was originally designed in a lizzard shape. We learned that another film had created a similar design, so it was immediately modified into its final form.
If you feel the other car may not be an actual cop, absolutely please call in. All our units advise us immediately that they are doing a traffic stop, for everyone's safety.
Can you describe the altercation? Did they ask for money? Did they just jump out and stab? How did you react, and what did you say?
Was there a struggle, or just a stab-and-run? How did it play out?
Thanks for the detailed response. I currently work with children in a one-on-one type setting and love it. People ask me all the time why I don't pursue a career in teaching and while I've thought about it, the entire education system just seems way too overwhelming and unrewarding. I hope you find a new calling!!
As lead designer of the Death Star, do you ever worry about potential Rebel Alliance assassins?
How hard is it to understand people in a real state of panic? Do you have a standard procedure?
hey, sorry for the late reply xD
So, I was walking home and I noticed immediately that three guys started to follow me. This was already a huge red flag but then there was a guy up ahead so I was thinking "if they do anything, this guy will probably help." So when I walked past the guy, he walked away. That's when the three guys surrounded me. They wanted my phone and my bag, which had my laptop and money in it. I tried to act tough but deep inside I was scared shitless tbh. "Give us your phone." they said. So I was like "What, you're gonna stab me?"
They responded by saying "If you scream, we'll stab you." So that's when I decided to hand them my phone. Then they told me to give them my bag. I resisted, because my laptop has my life in it, so they got mad and just tried to pull it off me and run. As they did, I managed to grab the strap of my bag (it was a messenger bag), and pulled it back. They fell, and that's when they got REALLY mad, so they pushed me. At the time being, I thought that they just beat me up after they pushed me, but that's when I got stabbed. Then a car passed by, so they got scared and ran, leaving my bag.
So I got my bag and chased after them. I don't know the exact distance but it was pretty lengthy. While I was chasing them a guy on a motorcycle offered to help, but before I could climb on the motorcycle, the guy pointed out I was bleeding. Thankfully the area they ran to was near a hospital, so I just ran to the ER immediately.
Hope this answers your questions xD
Thank you for what you do. Being a para is an even less respected profession despite being the ones that make the biggest difference with those who need it.
So statistically, only a small percentage of callers are found to be "too distraught" for us to get any info, meaning we should almost never be unable to get anything unless someone just hangs up/loses connection.
With that said, sometimes it is really hard! With background noise and crappy cell reception it's hard enough.. but add in panic and we have to ask people to repeat things all the time, unfortunately. We do have a protocol we have to follow to maintain our certifications, and it always starts with us confirming the address, phone number, and name. That way, if nothing else we know where to send units and can get info while they're on the way to reduce response time
I have one more question - would you be open to attending the largest gathering of sci-fi model builders, at Wonderfest in Louisville Kentucky, in early June? It will be a celebration of everything, but also a specific showcase of the Star Wars 40th anniversary.
I think I speak for all the fellas when I say we would love to have you attend and show you what we have made, inspired by your designs!
Imagine triangulating a cellphone signal is not as easy and quick as I imagine it to be.
We literally just have a button to "re-bid" the call, meaning try again to get a location, but beyond that there's nothing we can do from our chairs
Hi, just wanted to ask a small question about the Star Destroyers. Did you include any turrets on the model, or did you omit them because they were too small to put on such a large ship? I can't help but notice in the movies that the lasers come out of seemingly nowhere on the ships.
Does it fail that often?
No, maybe 1 in 50 calls, if that often
There is a huge difference between how the Amish even today can manage with minimal funding for a single schoolteacher with a one-room schoolhouse with multiple grade levels of students where older ones help younger ones and discipline problems are few, versus the administratively and financially bloated monster that is public education today. The Amish have strong parenting, strict expectations, discipline, shared culture of chores and work, and shares languages (Deutsch and English). LAUSD and Washington DC each spends $30,000 per student per year and still have shitty high school graduation rates.
Do you ever accidentally slip into dispatcher mode when you're on a regular ol' personal call?
i did not actually realize i was stabbed, so when they ran, i chased them. later in the hospital, the pain started and i can only describe it as blinding. each time i took a breath, it felt like something was digging into my lungs.
That all makes perfect sense, but the unfortunate thing is that the public education system was not designed to improve those same cultural aspects that you mentioned the Amish are proud of. Throwing money at a problem is typically a good start, but without support from society nor understanding that those cultural strengths are essential, nothing's going to happen.
I knew that the opening scenes had to be exceptionally successful, but little did I foresee the outcome.
Ha.. yeah, I do. Especially if I have to spell something over the phone, the phonetic alphabet comes right out
That people are unprepared for it is one of the main criticisms, I think, of programs like Teach For America. For instance, they take idealistic young teachers with little experience and expect them to actually effect change and it doesn't work that way. Do you agree?
Wow, your résumé is crazy! What was it like working with Stanley Kubrick?
What's your reaction/thoughts on callers who use phonetic alphabet?
Does it happen often or is it rare?
They were caught the next day, but honestly I didn't feel anything towards them. I just wanted my phone back.
It's exactly the problem we have right now. The training and preparation prospective teachers receive is so behind the times of a system that barely has any shared identity from year to year.
It does happen, but they usually use the Military version because that's what ends up in movies and stuff, so sometimes it throws us off for a second
Hey, Colin, thanks for doing another AMA! The last one was really interesting! My husband and I are both huge Star Wars fans, and we both have our different favorite ships (mine being the TIE Fighter). Do you have a favorite? Or is it impossible to choose because they're your creations?
Which phonetic alphabet do you guys use?
Looking back on it, the ones that created the most important scenes won out. May both of you create favorites that light up your audiences.
We call it the "Law Enforcement Phonetic Alphabet"
Adam, Boy, Charles, David, Edward, Frank, George, Henry...
instead of the Military version or the Greek Alphabet
No education does what you ask, anymore. School maybe gives you the time and freedom to figure out your calling and sells you a small amount of relatively temporary credibility to establish yourself in a career. The idea that anyone is prepared for any particular job after college is naive and never explained to kids. College helps you by exposing you to higher levels of thoughts and ideas, but it is not a training facility and never really was. Trade schools did what you are asking and they rarely exist anymore.
That's fair, to a point. My professors in college weren't too helpful as described in the topic post of this specific thread, but it was almost like they were giving us misinformation because of how long they'd been out of the field. They were all older people who taught only as recently as ten years prior, with a few having only taught in the 80's-90's. I can think back to so many questions we asked and the answer we got was so outdated that almost nobody teaching today feels that way.
I get that college isn't trade school, but the learning curve for teaching versus nearly anything else is so steep that the majority slide back down and say "Well what the shit, hill?" That's my biggest concern. There needs to be total reform of the public education system, but it also needs to start at the source: where our teachers come from.
What was the worst and the best moment in the classroom for you?
Hi Colin! Thank you for doing this. Were you approached by Disney to work on the new films?
What happens if the caller doesn't speak English? How many languages are supported by the 911 dispatchers?
Worst moment and best moment revolved around the same incident. It definitely had to be the one regarding a troublesome student who came from a rough background and was consistently having trouble fitting in. He and I were always closer than most other students were to me and, despite his (and my) shortcomings, our relationship grew into a strong trust over time.
During parent/teacher conferences in which us three teachers all met the parents at once (because fuck 90 different meetings for EACH teacher), one of my colleagues mentioned that she saw the student stealing food from another student's lunchbox and bribing another for food. I, personally, had never witnessed this and was honestly a little surprised when I heard it. Well, Mom went home and shamed the kid and he roared in during my first class the next day and shouted me out, screaming that he trusted me and thought I'd be there for him and how I lied just to get him into trouble to keep him under control at home. ... It's tough to even recall the memory as it's still so vivid in my mind. Eventually, he apologized and I did, too, as for all he knew I DID say those things - I couldn't just say the other teacher lied or whatever. We ended the school year amicably with a giant hug and he promised me he'd go on to do good things with his life and help others like himself.
We use a translator service, like as a 3-way call, to speak with non-English speaking callers
Some dispatch centers will let you speak another language with callers, some won't, it's an issue of liability. If you "know" Spanish and mess something up, it's on you. If you use the translator service, it isn't your fault if there's a mistranslation
fuck that other teacher. had they never thought maybe the kid was not fed well at home? that very well may not a behavior issue, but an issue of abuse.
Hi! So, did the trench run finale actually come about because of your design?! Did you meet Carrie Fisher?
Cool. Have you personally had non-english callers?
It wasss... a complicated issue with that kid. Mom in prison, dad just starting to get it together because of it but still sort of a tool, stepmom being a breath of fresh air for both of them, etc. None of us thought he wasn't receiving enough food from home (largely because he always brought a lunch and never once indicated to any of us that food was an issue). I'm not saying it wasn't possible, but he also had issues with stealing things even when he didn't need them. It's a 'survivor' mentality. A lot of kids from rough backgrounds pick it up during times when they DON'T have anything, and latch onto anything they can.
I think my colleague was more just pointing out that he was stealing in the first place and not insinuating that, because it was food, he's hungry.
I did not meet Carrie. The trench was my idea... thereby the action scenes
It happens a few times a month at least. I had 10 years of Spanish growing up and speak decently, but I still get the interpreter on the line
I've never been stabbed before, can you describe the pain?
Did you talk to any current teachers in your state before deciding on being a teacher?
What do you think about the large influx of CGI use in recent films? Do you think there's some level of authenticity that can't be achieved with digital renders as opposed to physical miniature props?
Is 911 the best number to call for non-emergency traffic situations?
For instance, after a windy night, when a tree branch is blocking a traffic intersection? I'm sure there is a city service for this, but if i notice while i'm driving i may not have those phone numbers handy.
at first you don't even realize it, but when the adrenaline wears off, it's horrible. i couldn't breathe, since they punctured my right lung, so they had to attach an oxygen tube.
Not directly, no. But we (my college cohort and myself) all knew the common grievances going into it. We also knew that there are good schools and struggling schools, good districts and struggling districts, and that we could choose where to end up.
Of course, that didn't prepare for just how polarizing the difference between an affluent school and a Title I school is.
CGI has come a long way. Hands on for me is my kind of fun. But I was a pioneer in CGI as well.
You can call State Highway Patrol or go ahead and call 911 and we can transfer you or advise them ourselves
What are your thoughts on the safety of running with scissors now?
How early into your college career did you commit to going into teaching?
I have seen pictures of the Y-Wing you made with a WWII fighter cockpit for a canopy, which was later changed to the squared styrene one that it has now, and which was painted by McQuarrie. Did you often meet with George Lucas while building the models, and how often were you asked to modify or change a build?
When there's a fire/accident/crime on/near a major road do you receive several dozen calls for it? How do you handle that, as in do you tell them that there are units responding and try to free up the line as quickly as possible or do you continue to ask them for information?
When I started college, I was a Music Education major. That came out of my own uncertainty of what I'd do with my life and the fact I was musical all throughout grade school. I did this for a couple years as I grew disillusioned and jaded with my lack of personal accountability in those beginning years. Once I kinda got my shit together around my junior year, I realized I didn't want to be a music teacher and made the switch to Primary Education (as, in another post here, I explain why I always admired the idea of being a teacher). It the took me three years between making up for lost ground and starting a new program, but then I student-taught in what was technically my sixth year, and graduated in that December.
I met with him to ask mostly about the role of the ship storywise. A lot to begin with and less frequently as time went on. He seldom made suggestions on design changes.
Oh yes. Ohhhhh yes.
And yep, we tell them "we have received reports, units are enroute" and document the call. Unless the original caller gave very little info and the new caller says they are on scene at the accident or were involved or something and we can get more info from them
Ooh, hello Sir, congratulations and thank you for your amazing work! I'd love to see you team up with Dr Michio Kaku - what a dream team that would be! Have you got a ticket for a commercial space flight? Who'd be your dream team to go to space with?
I saw on a tv show this guy was getting home invaded, and he called 911 and tapped SOS in morse code into the phone to avoid making any sound
Does this happen? And if it were to happen would you be able to follow thru?
i did significant flying while lying in bed with tuberculosis as a child. No ticket yet, but Stephen Hawiking would be a REAL TRIP.
If we get a call and nobody says anything, we are going to send law enforcement regardless of anything else. It may just be a hang up, it may not.
I personally would probably recognize the S-O-S pattern, but we aren't trained in Morse code or anything, it would just be from seeing it in movies
My friend was recently stabbed in a random attack in broad daylight, they're okay, but I was wondering if you had any advice I could pass on about allowing yourself to move on and feel safe again after an attack? Is there anything you wish your friends/family would have said or done for you?
I'd love to help them as much as possible, but it's obviously a tricky situation! Glad to hear you're doing better :)
Yeah, I just disagree categorically with that ideology re zeroes. You're parroting exactly what my professors said in my master's program. I understand the logic, but in practice in the classroom, I believe it encourages bad behavior. You can't do half your job and expect to keep it. Life isn't about getting by, and nobody cares if you're demoralized because you were too lazy to do the work at your job... Procrastination and laziness should not be rewarded. And I think that as educators, it is incumbent upon us (well not me anymore) to prepare children for life, and coddling doesn't do that. I'm not a huge disciplinarian behaviorwise, but I think that strict grading is important. I also don't think that you need to give hw every night by any means (outside of math). But I do think you owe it to your students to owe them accountable. I feel the same way about people who work for me. They owe it to me to do the work, and I owe it to them to hold them accountable, even if I like them and don't want to.
I'm also a huge liberal, disagree completely with race to the top, nclb, fucking the incoming Sec of Ed, and have serious reservations about charter schools.
Based on what you wrote here, there's probably a lot we would agree on... The zeroes is the one thing I'm pretty old school about... Anyway, happy holidays. I'm truly proud of you and everyone else who teaches.
Do you have an idea how the Core Fires series is going to pan out or are you just making it up as you go along? And how far have you got with the sequel?
Is there something someone could do to very quietly notify you they're in trouble other than just a hang up?
Hey man, I'm sorry for the late reply.
If I'm honest, I still feel panicky when I'm alone and someone comes close to me. I'm always on guard, now.
My friends have been supportive of me. I think the best piece of advice they gave me was that I didn't stop trying. I've never really known if I wanted to be alive, but after that incident the answer was pretty much cemented in my mind. Now, I try to be as positive as possible, because if the muggers had just decided to stab me an inch or two longer, I would've died.
Tell your friend that it's okay to feel paranoid. It's okay to be scared. What matters is that they are safe, and okay. I'm still a bit paranoid, but I try to calm myself down. I have a few guidelines that I use whenever I go out.
1.) Never go someplace alone. 2.) Be at a place with many people, or at least a security guard. 3.) Keep calm.
I'm sorry if this wasn't helpful at all. Have a great day! :)
Teachers will always be needed, but the methods with which we teach will always change. Incorporating technology into the classroom right now is essential for many reasons, the two most crucial being that students' lives are already dominated by tech and it's how you're going to reach them most often, and teaching them through new technologies will also teach them ABOUT the technologies, preparing them for the real-world.
As for how much educators will be supported, well, that's probably not about to change a whole lot with the recent string of elections on state and federal levels.
CoreFires Two is complete and will be out before the end of 2017.
It would be hard to recommend something that would be reliably effective. We've had people pull the ol' "ordering a pizza" thing to disguise they were really calling 911. I once had a guy just groan into the phone who was having a stroke.
If you call, we will do our best to get help to you even if we have no information except a cell phone GPS plot
News says they used an ice pick. Yall have snow in the Phillipines?
Fellow teacher here. If you really like the idea of teaching I'd try another school. Even in the same district schools can vary greatly. Go and ask the teachers if possible without administration to get an honest sense of the school climate.
I don't have as great school related question so...what did you get for Christmas?
Nope, which is funny. I saw a scissor blade but apparently the police found an ice pick, so that's what was on the news c;
Gift card to a good pizza place in town that my wife and I love, a high-quality waffle iron, a gas grill for our new patio, and a few smaller but equally neat things.
What would you consider a good pizza place in town?
I'm not too sure, but my right lung was punctured. Blood was flowing into my lungs, so there was a chance of me having a collapsed lung. I recall the doctor telling me that my lung was 14% flooded with blood, and if it reached 20%, they would have to do an operation to drain it.
The place is Sauce. It's one of those new-fangled Fox Restaurant Concepts, but it's actually pretty solid. Pizza is decent but their pasta is where it's at.
Beyond that (assuming you're talking about Phoenix), Pizzeria Bianco and Parlor are both fantastic.
Hi, impressive resume! What were your inspirations behind the various Star Wars designs? Did Lucas already have an idea in mind for each, did he just say something like "Go talk to McQuarrie and ask to see his paintings", or did he let you come up with whatever you wanted to come up with?
Seems to me like a few simple yes-no questions can put it to bed.
- Caller: Hi, I'd like an extra-large pepperoni!
- Dispatch: This is 911, is that who you intended to call?
- Caller: Yes
- Dispatch: Do you need an officer?
- Caller: Yes
- Dispatch: What's your address?
From the callers side, that's a perfectly normal pizza call, and the cashier asked him if he wanted napkins and parmesan, and then the delivery address, but you've collected all of the information you needed.
Some had individual inspirations, too long to go into detail for all of them. All were from my mind.
It seems straightforward, but add a man in the room with a gun to the caller's head and things get complicated, stressful, and panicked. You just can't standardize the "pizza place" approach enough for it to be trained out to everyone
Why are the TIE Fighters so different from the various rebel craft?
How much do you want to punch your coworker when they suggest it might be a quiet shift?
I wanted them each to be evil and "instantly" identified on the screen.
Don't you jinx me, you bastard!
First: I called 9-1-1 when I was a kid, I can't remember why. It was me being dumb and wanted to see if I could hang up right after dialing and not get caught. I got caught (obviously). I've always felt guilty about that.
Second: I called 9-1-1 only 1 other time and that was because I suspected (correctly) my mother was being physically abused by her boyfriend. This was 7 years ago. I was spurred into action when I heard her in the other room say "Stop it, you're hurting me! Let me GO!" I straight up bolted out of the house and called on the land line. To me it sounded like the dispatcher was trying to not send a unit out and asked multiple times "did you only hear it, or actually see the abuse?" Is there some kind of rule regarding suspicion of domestic abuse? Also, the next thing that happened was she said that she would forward our report to the sheriffs office, then she hung up. about 10 minutes later I got a call from the sheriff and he showed up. Was it incorrect for her to get off the line in a situation like that? Thanks for all your hard work!
First, I'm sorry that happened and I hope she is in a better situation
Second, it sounds like that dispatcher was not doing their job correctly. Could have been a lack of training, or they were just disgruntled, etc. Either way, no, we are trained to take every call seriously and at face value. You say you're being attacked, we tell the police you're being attacked, it isn't our call to decide differently.
I currently work for NASA and I was wondering, with Mars on the horizon do you think that traveling to Mars will be covered in the news outlets as much as the Moon landings?
If you had the chance, would you like to cover the Mars landing?
Last time I called 911 was two years ago when I found that my roommate had hanged himself. Police were at my door in under 2 minutes.
What is the step by step process that goes into a call like that? All I remember is they asked me, "Can you confirm he's dead?" At which point I started screaming and crying. Then someone was at my door.
Hopefully it would be more accurate than the cover image of National Geographic which swapped the lowest terrains with the highest. Yes I would like to cover the Mars landing.
We will send EMS and Law Enforcement and probably first responders no matter what you say in that situation, and they will come as fast as possible unless you tell us certain things (like his head is off, he is already decomposing, etc) that we call "unequivocal death" meaning there is no doubt he is deceased.
Was there ever any discussion about the death star's propulsion? Watching the old and most recent film, I thought it might be the most cavalier thing of all to not acknowledge what it would take to move an object of that size and shape through space. So was that ever discussed in relation to it's appearance?
How do I report a dispatcher? There was an Uber driver outside my house that wouldn'y leave after I accidentally mentioned I would be home alone for a few days. He was banging on the windows and trying to find a way in. When I called the dispatcher it was this very unpleasant and unprofessional woman who kept asking if I had ordered the Uber driver. Ultimately I ended up flashing my airsoft gun in the dark with my hand over the orange tip, so it looked like a real MP5k to scare him away. When I told the dispatcher he left she threatened to have me fined and charged for prank calling 911.
Not by me. I thought it more mysterious without detailed explaination.
Call back and ask for their shift supervisor to file a report. If that doesn't work, speak with the county manager!
Was getting stabbed worth all this karma? Asking for a friend
Greetings. I might be late to the party, and I gave the comments a quick skim to see if my Qs had been asked/answered, but if they have you can point me to them or just ignore. But: What state did you teach in? Title 1 is subjective to the state/district the school is nested in. yes? (<---Serious question)So what was the ses makeup of your school? Rural poor or urban poor? What was the support of parents like? What about administration? Thanks for answering and happy/merry whatever you believe/don't believe in. Cheers
Thanks for the AMA! Huge fan. How do you feel the modern Star Wars movies i.e. The force awakens and Rogue 1 compare with the original trilogy? Thanks!
What's the craziest call you've ever gotten? What's the dumbest call you've ever gotten?
For the most part, Title I is the same just about anywhere, though criteria and some minor differences may vary from area to area.
The socioeconomic status of my school was largely urban poor, ranging from a few middle class all the way down to homeless and state foster services.
Parent support was intermittent. We had a handful of genuinely concerned parents who could always be trusted to be in contact, volunteer at events, and spare a little gift of appreciation from time to time. The majority of parents were distant but still in touch with their kids' academic performance, usually not reaching out to us unless we came to them first.
The worst kind of parents were the ones who THOUGHT they were being attentive to their kids' performance and behaviors but were just unintentionally perpetuating and encouraging those negatives tendencies. One kid, for example, had to have had ADD. It was bad; never listening, staring off into space, constantly asking completely unrelated questions, losing everything, etc. He was very kind and knowledgeable, but he could not look at or think about one thing for more than 8 seconds. His mom absolutely refused to take him to a doctor or do anything about it whatsoever, passing it off as just a phase or whatever. She wound up pulling him out of our school and put him into a charter, a move we later learned didn't work because he switched schools twice after that. So because his mother was in denial of almost the entire list of ADD symptoms, he suffered.
My administration, both on-site and district, we largely unhelpful and unsupportive. My principal was courteous enough in the beginning, understanding that not having curriculum is a problem, and gave me some preliminary tools to get started. But as the school year went on and I figured out the academic side of things, she became less and less supportive of the staff while dealing with parents and student behaviors. By the end of the school year, parents were walking all over her and we had no backing on our decisions, so the parents took over a lot of parts of our behavior plans - parts that had been working up to that point.
Hope this answered anything you were curious about. Merry Christmas. :)
I really enjoyed seeing the new story tellng in both.
"Her vagina done fell out" ranks as one of the strangest complaints we've gotten....
I had a call a few months back from a woman saying her neighbor's house was in flames. Turns out it was the sunset reflecting off the windows. (PSA please always call if you think there's a fire, we just might laugh a bit later if it's something like this)
How do you know exactly when I am ready to dig into my meal or take off my boots? Are there cameras in our station so you know the worst possible moments to tone us out? Do my sacrifices to the dispatch gods get seen, or should I just stop doing them all together?
In all seriousness, we love our dispatchers (most of them anyway) and really appreciate hearing 'stay safe' from time to time.
EDIT: Huh, this blew up. Thank you for the gold and kind words below. From the EMS community to you, PLEASE STAY SAFE THIS NEW YEARS! If you think about it and have the ability to do so, send a thank-you note to your local EMS station during this busy time of year. It'll mean more than you probably ever know.
Classroom management is #1. Ask as many questions about it as you can and ask to have hands-on time practicing it. Have a system in place and well-established before your kids walk through the door on the first day. Be strict early on and you'll find the room to ease up as the year progresses.
I was sitting behind Walter Cronkite and known as the "Hal 9000 Computer". During his broadcast I was listening to NASA and feeding Walter the information he was broadcasting on live TV.
As far as skeptics, give me their names and I'll sell them the London Bridge.
We usually try to hold all pages until lunch time, dinner time, and the middle of the night, so it's good to hear we're being effective :)
Thank you, truthfully, for what you do :) The gods are pleased
Do you get annoyed at people calling about petty things? like dogs off the leash or personal disputes?
After teaching, I did some odd jobs here and there to support my wife (who was fortunate enough to have a lucrative career already at that point) like temp administrative assistant at a friend-of-a-friend's law firm, freelance article writer, etc. Some were to pay bills while others let me explore some creative outlets.
Currently I sub in a different school district. Aside from the pay, it's just better than teaching full-time. I get to show up, teach with everything I've got, and leave the classroom a better place. I've got a number of teachers who call me regularly nowadays and trust me to continue lessons they've started and teach material while they're out. It's a lot of fun, but I don't feel the grind setting in again.
I may try focusing on smaller student interactions, like maybe in a tutoring setting. I've always felt most beneficial and connected to students in small-group or one-on-one work, so that's a possibility. If teaching in its entirety doesn't work out, I'd been wanting to get into writing more. It's not really a career (unless I commit even harder than a teacher must) but I've always been passionate about it.
The Death Star was a sphere because objects needed to be able to fly around it and attack it from all sides. When the two plastic hemispheres arrived, I had to invent a way to use them without revealing their equitorial flaws.. Hence the trench.
We get a little annoyed, we joke about it, we make sarcastic comments after we hang up with the caller... but we still advise our units of every single one! We take your life and safety seriously, even if you're being a little silly or petty :)
I designed the opening one minute and many of the space scenes. I worked very closely with Stanley. We met nightly to discuss different scenes and the special effects. He would give me guidance during space dailies.
and the rest of the music except the "Blue Danube"
Sure! In my area, we would send the fire department to go clean it up so it doesn't cause an accident
Something I've always wondered: can you get an address/gps location without having to speak to the caller? For example, say I call 911 on my cell phone and just put it in my pocket without saying a word; can you find me?
As someone who is enamored by the innocence of children and knows that people can change, I'd be hesitant to say I have.
As someone who has a level of anonymity here, yes. It hurts to think of a student that way and I would certainly never let the thought escape my own mind, but yes. For as much as I'd help one specific student of mine and talk to him and get him to open up, you got the sense that his fate was already decided. It sucks and it may make me sound shitty, but I'm also a realist and take the world as it is. I feel like I tried my best and didn't let that thought bias my treatment of him, but I fear it wasn't enough.
The turret survived the re-invention of the millennium falcon from my original lizzard design.
If it comes from a landline, we get a location that is reliable in most cases
If it comes from a cellphone though, we might get a location within 30 yards...or we might never get an automatic GPS location (called a "phase 2" plot) which means we have no idea where to send them
How did you land these awesome jobs? Talk about a dream come true.
i am sorry for having to listen to that! did they take you off work and give you counseling for it?
Based on the work I had previously done, many of these jobs were referred to me by others.
They always offer counseling after major incidents, and it's an available resource any time we want it. I didn't take it after that call
What's your favorite small scale project? Any smaller movie collaborations your particularly proud of?
Have you ever had anyone call you up to admit to a crime and summon the police?
My last architectural design submitted to Frank Lloyd Wright before he died. Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
We do get people wanting to turn themselves in for outstanding warrants. I did have a guy report that two "crackwhores" had stolen his wallet after he solicited them... genius
Do you still have those two large wonderful models that Jason Debord showed in his interviews with you? It was fascinating to see them, as they seem to be spiritual cousins to the Star Wars models you designed. We see many of the same parts used (the large howitzer used on your Sandcrawler for example). Do you also have any "raw parts" left or did those all sell at auction?
And did you take any reference photos of the models that have not come to light yet? There are many parts that have been knocked off over the past 40 years (like the "skis" and "pitot tubes" on the Skyhopper) and it is always thrilling to see what is missing.
Is it difficult for you to detach emotionally once you know there's nothing more you personally (or anyone if that's the case) can do for the caller?
Sorry, everything was sold at auction. I don't have any photos of any of my models, but lots of memories.
It is easier for me then some of my peers for whatever reason. I just don't get very emotionally invested unless it's someone I know or care about. I know it sounds very heartless, but I'd argue it makes me better suited because even seasoned veterans in this job can get a horrible call and freeze up... and that's when things go really wrong
Was the design of the Imperial Star Destroyer (triangle) directly affected by the need to provide an impact in the opening scene? Thank you!
Edit: Imperial Star Destroyer since I am a dummy.
My brother is a dispatcher. They got the call when one of their coworkers committed suicide.
Edit: This answer was the only reason I'm confident you're not my brother (handwriting is really similar).
Very strongly. That opening series of scenes had to work for the film to succeed.
Man, that is really rough, my condolences to him and his team. We are very close here, that would be devastating
Hello Mr. Cantwell! You designed so many of the iconic images of our time. But have you ever looked back at something you designed and wished, despite its popularity, that you had done it differently?
How do you decide when you should stay on the call instead of just take the call and dispatch and then disconnect?
It's kind of a hard thing to put into words, sometimes you just get a feeling like "hey, those background noises are weird" or " this caller's voice sounds scared even though she says she's fine".
Other times, the caller themselves asks you to stay on, especially with some bad medical calls
Hey! We are friends on Facebook and I saw that you would be doing an AMA. My question is this: how many revisions did the original ships go through before they came up with the end product that we all saw in the movies?
Every time I've called 911, the operator stayed on the phone until the police arrived
It may be their policy to do so, it may be that they were slow enough, it may just be that they felt it was necessary
As a manufacturing/design engineer myself, how do I get into the movie/tv industry? What job positions should I look for?
When calling 911 as an adult, what are the most important pieces of information that you, as the dispatcher, need and what is the preferred order? Does any of that change for teaching children? For example, if I was talking to a child about calling 911, what should points should I stress?
Location, first and foremost.
Then your phone # in case we get disconnected.
Then what is going on/what's the emergency
I know it seems like we should ask the emergency first, but if we get "he's on fire" and no location, then we can't send help, but if we get a location and nothing else, we can still send responders.
As a young adult trying to make it in the film industry in LA, where should I start and what should I avoid? Thank you!
Do you usually trace the callers location without explicit permission? I imagine it could save lives in case of kidnapping/hostage situations
Sorry. I started in architecture and NASA projects. I really don't know what it would take to get into the film industry today.
We can have a cell traced but there is a process and it has to be done at the request of law enforcement under very specific circumstances
Do you have something to say to moon landing deniers to shut them up for good?
If you're unfamiliar, they claim that astronauts only went to space and back. They claim moon landing was filmed on earth. And they claim that photos taken show proof of earthlike conditions.
You don't have to adress all of the above, but please let me know how being the CBS lead analyst for the moon landing makes you confident that it did happen.
What happened to that whole being charged for calling 911 thing?
I was practically there. It would be pretty hard to fake the Apollo 11 lift off with millions watching. The fake landing story was started by a friend of mine as a joke. It grew from there.
People still get charged, it just requires a pattern of behavior and calling for no reason at all/ every little thing.
In light of Carrie Fishers passing, do you have a personal memory oft her?
In the day and age of cell phones I imagine many people do not know the address of where they currently are located. With a landline it could be easily traced to an address. How do you track a cell phone to a specific address?
She was an important part of the film, but I never had the opportunity to meet her. Very sad that she is gone.
It shows up as a little dot on our map and we look at the closest valid address and hope for the best
The last time I felt panicked, I was listening to a woman scream "god please let him start breathing"
If she had instead came back to the phone I could've talked her through CPR and maybe saved that guy
If I call in and once you answer I blurt out something like, "A minivan just ran off highway, rolled down hill, Highway X, mile marker Y, send help!" and immediately hung up or stuffed my phone in my pocket so that I could run and help, would that have been helpful or useless? Would I be better off standing there talking to you? Do you have everything I said on recording to go back and re-listen if I blurted too fast? Do you often replay recordings as part of a dispatch effort?
With the highway and mile marker we would send fire and ems immediately, and hopefully they would find the accident!
We can go back and re-listen, and we hope you are correct when you give us that info! Sometimes people say one location and really they are a few miles past it, it's just the last thing they saw
First off, good job for doing what you do and secondly I'm Dutch and not American so things most likely will be a bit different here. Do dispatchers ever try to keep you occupied if you call? Two years ago our chicken barn was on fire and I called the Dutch version of 911. I got the feeling they tried to keep me on the line just to prevent me from doing (possibly stupid or dangerous) anything.
Is that a thing that gets done or is there a big chance I imagined that?
If the dispatcher thinks the caller is in danger by staying on the line, they should tell them to put the phone down and leave the area if possible and get to a safe place.
If there is more information to be gained, or you might hurt yourself/commit suicide, we will try to keep you on as long as possible to help you until responders can find you
It can be pretty stressful sometimes, but where I work that tends to come in spurts. There will be periods where it's slow and we get a few calls in ten minutes maybe... then the next moment we have thirty units headed out on six calls all at once and things are just crazy.
The hardest part sometimes it's just having the 12 hour shifts and just being seated and indoors for that long, but people do burn out and get secondary PTSD from what we have to deal with :/
Have you ever taken a call from someone you know and how did it affect you having to listen to someone you know asking for help? Also did they recognize your voice or did you tell them it was you? Did they calm down if you did?
Thank the gods I have not yet had a call from someone I care about, but other people in the center have and it's horrible for everyone...
Is it ever OK to call 911 from your cell phone to make sure you are routed to the proper call center? I remember people being concerned about this early on but I don't know if it is still a problem.
Absolutely! Just please stay on the line and tell us why you called. Not every call center does this, but we send law enforcement to every 911 hang up, and your call comes through immediately after you hit send, so don't hang up, it wastes time :)
When I accidentally hung up on 911 they just called me back and had me report the accident I just saw all over again. You'd think the CAD would be able to say "this person just called and spent so long on the line with this dispatcher" but I guess it just sticks everyone in a queue and has someone call them back.
Not that I mind the diligence, it's good to know their standard procedure is actually to verify that the call I said happened did happen.
We will tell the responding officer "Joe Smith just called back and said it was a misdial/pocket dial" and it's then the officer's discretion to continue responding or not
I'm curious to get your opinion about a 911 call I made for something that I felt was an emergency: I was driving about 25 MPH towards a bridge that led to the freeway. As I merged into the left hand lane a bee flew into my truck and I swerved, almost hitting the car next to me and then came close to rear-ending the car in front of me.
After I stopped and rolled up my window I noticed a sign next to me on the median that was covered with a huge swarm of bees. There were hundreds of bees in the air and it was the kind of day where a lot of people had their car windows open. I felt it was a dangerous situation that was sure to cause an accident or worse, that the bees might sting someone who's allergic.
So I called 911 to report this road hazard and I was curtly told that 911 was for emergencies only and then they hung up on me. I was stunned because those bees needed to be removed ASAP. So who should I have called if not 911?
I would have called 911 in that situation too! I think if I got that call, I'd end up having to send Wildlife Enforcement because Animal Control really only does domestic animals like dogs and cats and farm animals. Yeah, that could cause wrecks though!
Am I supposed to call 911 if I suspect someone of drunken driving? Is that considered enough of an emergency?
Please do! Drunk drivers kill way too many people every year
Are you certified with anything medically? I would assume something like CPR right?
I'm CPR certified but that's it. Some people end up in dispatch after being an EMT/Firefighter/Officer, but none of that certification is required
How long have you dispatched? How often do people call by accident? What call turned out to be the most rewarding?
I've been with this agency for a few years now, almost five in total in the job.
Accidental hang up calls are and will always be our most common call, haha
Any time we guide someone through giving CPR and the patient survives is extremely intense and extremely rewarding because we literally just saved a life
So sometimes kids call 911 for funny reasons simply because they don't know any better or they perceive something to be more of a problem than it actually is (for example, "I need help finishing homework." Have you ever had calls like this and if so how frequently?
Haha, sometimes we get kids who "prank call" and call us names or swear at us (I had a kid say "crap you, you bastard" then hang up)
We send law enforcement :)
Say I call in and can't speak for some reason: choking, held captive, etc
What should I do?
Try to keep the line open as long as possible and make whatever noise you can manage to let us know you're there.
Ive always wondered if it is okay to call 911 to confirm an unmarked car pulling you over as an actual police person on duty. Is this allowed? I see so many unmarkes cars now that it could really be anybody posing as a police official.
As I told another caller, all our law enforcement units tell us as soon as they stop a car, and give a location, for everyone's safety. So if it's a legit car, we know about it and will confirm with you