From the Author
As dispatchers, we make a difference in peoples lives everyday. We make decisions that affect people in ways that, sometimes, they don't realize, let alone us making that realization. We take peoples stress and grief and carry it around with us with little or no outlet for release. The purpose of this book is to let you know that you don't have to carry around that burden. We give you some ways to cope with stress, some techniques to help alleviate stress and some guidelines to help you help yourself. If it were possible to wave the magic wand and make the stresses of the job go away, our lives would be much more simple. The information given is a compilation of several sources. Put it in your "dispatcher toolbox" and use your tools often. Not every tool is going to work for every person and situation. It's up to you to utilize whatever tools gets the job done for you. Find out what works and what doesn't; search for other tools to use or invent your own tools. We may not be in control of the events that occur in our lives, but we can be in control of our reactions to those events. World renown author on the stress and grieving process, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, has a wonderful quote that I think applies to dispatchers; "People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the light is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." We make a difference every day in other people's lives. Make a difference in yours and take care of you and keep that light within you bright when the outside appears dark.
About the Author
Richard Behr has been in public safety for over 27 years. After a stint in the U.S. Navy as a photographer, his first job was with a private ambulance service. Richard then switched careers to become a firefighter. After 13 years he became a public safety dispatcher. During his career, Richard has received numerous commendations, letters of appreciation and has received his agency's Meritorious Service Medal and Medal of Bravery. He is a Member with Diplomate status of The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress and is Board Certified in Emergency Crisis Response. He is a senior instructor for Public Safety Training Consultants, holds the position of adjunct instructor with Riverside Community College (CA) and teaches at Riverside County (CA) Sheriff's Department Ben Clark Training Center. He is Past Secretary and currently is the Vice President of Riverside County Law Enforcement Trainers Association (CA). Richard has been a presenter for several conferences around the country, including Associated Public Safety Officials (APCO) International and Regional Conferences and National Emergency Number Association (NENA) conferences. As a founding member of a critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) team, he has taught hundreds of dispatchers about the effects stress has on their job performance and personal lives.