General Forums >> The Lobby >> Life changing events on the job

Rate

Life changing events on the job

216 Views
7 Replies Flag as inappropriate
Meangreen01_max50

2482 posts

back to top

Posted over 6 years ago

 

What's your story, what event changed your life or outlook on life? I'm talking about an event that transpired in the course of your duties. I posted this one before, but here's mine:

I had been in the Border Patrol for just over two years and was assigned to one of the cr@p duties. I had to guard the Border Safety Initiative corral, the BSI for short, with a trainee agent (trainee signifies an agent who has not yet passed the post-academy tests) as my sidekick. The BSI was a 20’ x 20’ chain link fence with Constantine wire covering the top portions and sideless military tents for shade. It was a 12 hour pain-in-the-@$$. While on guard duty a BorSTAR (Border Patrol Search, Trauma, And Rescue) agent stopped by to see how we were doing. As she and I chatted about a vehicle stop we’d both been on the previous night, a lone Mexican male (illegal alien) of 18 years approached us from the northwest. He stated that his 16 year old sister was feeling dizzy and sick to her stomach. We who work in the desert immediately know the seriousness of such symptoms. Often times this means heat exhaustion, and shortly after that it can lead to heat stroke. The illegal alien stated that she was back the way he came from near a windmill and a white, concrete well. The BorSTAR agent and I began an immediate search based on these landmarks that were well known to us. We came to the spot where he had left her and the group of illegal aliens that he had been traveling with, but they had abandoned them both and taken the girl’s backpack. By the time we reached her she already had a very weak pulse. The BorSTAR agent took off her EMT rucksack and began to gather her IV solution and needle. By the time she had opened the bag and readied the IV the girl had passed beyond earthly help. Her brother stood watching and waiting for us to revive her, tears in his eyes and fear on his quivering lower lip. I shook my head at the BorSTAR agent and asked her to check the pulse in case I was incorrectly checking. Her face flashed with anger and denial as she proceeded to apply the IV solution. It did nothing, there was nothing for it could do at that point. She felt the pulse again and I heard a muffled sob. I looked up at the brother still waiting as he couldn’t understand the conversation in English that we’d just shared, nor do I believe he heard my partner’s distress. Then it happened. My throat tightened and my heartbeat became decidedly heavy. My vision slightly blurred and I clenched my jaw as I bit back all of my emotions. I had to do what a Border Patrol Agent so rarely has to…I had to tell this young man that his sister was dead. Somehow I had to convey that there was nothing anyone could do and he’d never see her alive again. Never to smile, never to laugh, never to cry and never to be held in a brother’s embrace. I simply said, “Lo siento amigo…” [I’m sorry friend…]. That boy of 18 years broke down in tears like I had not seen ….and I could almost feel his pain like it was my own. I knelt beside him as he crumpled to the desert floor and I placed my hand on his shoulder for what little comfort I could lend.

Calls were made and people with shiny emblems on their collars gathered the necessary information. We were then sent back to the station for debriefing. A few people from the peer support team talked to us in what seemed inaudible tones. They left and we stood in that cold, quiet room a few moments longer. The BorSTAR agent looked at me with somewhat swollen eyes that held a deeply personal pain of remorse, guilt, and anger. I knew how she felt even though I had pushed my own emotions back into that lockbox all cops keep hidden right next to their stomachs. It’s what causes those knots we sometimes get. She walked over and hugged me…something rare in this profession…and she cried while she apologized for her failure to revive the girl. She wasn’t talking to me though, she was talking to herself and she was talking to God. She just needed to lean on me, to be upheld by the only other person that understood her anguish. She regained her composure and thanked me for staying there with her at the station. We said our good-nights and headed to our homes. I sat there that night not watching my TV as the programs and commercials danced colored lights across my face in the darkness. And I cried. To my amazement I couldn’t keep the lid on my little lockbox any longer. I sobbed like I had never done so before. I finally understood what it truly meant when they called the older agents “Salty Dogs.” It’s not about the sweat in the uniforms, or their crusty hardened attitudes, it was the tears that stained their faces. It’s then that I remembered the words of one of “the old guys” as he had spoken to me at the scene of the dead girl. He said, “Now you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, if you want to talk my door’s always open to you.”

I still think about her sometimes and get a bit choked up if I think too long. I just try not to think too much when that happens. She is the reason I show up to every rescue that I can. Rest in peace Ana.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." ~ George Orwell

"Honor First!"

MODERATOR #1 & PL Mentoring Team Member

Lake_front_max50

1064 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

GULP........thank you for sharing your story ,,,your self.........

M_ecdbc17245387b1b8aacef6197d23d4b_max50

622 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

Good story, tough job...........My duty that I hate the most is Death Notifications, I'd rather have my ass beat with the crown of thorns.

Meangreen01_max50

2482 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

I've only done 3 death notifications...I hope to God I never have to do another. It seems once you do one DN, everyone turns to you to do the next one.


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." ~ George Orwell

"Honor First!"

MODERATOR #1 & PL Mentoring Team Member

Photo_user_blank_big

132 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

dealing w/ kids. hurt dead, abused sad scared, alone. i've dealt w/ all scenarios. allways hurts, right in here.

L_00d018a03da4d76eef0b28064c4d3507_max50

12 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

Life changing experience on the job....I've tried to avoid this thread, but for some reason I keep coming back. It happens to be the whole reason I joined Policelink. My fellow dispatcher Jason911 suggestion I get on here and read all the nice comments that you guys posted on the Floyd County shooting audio tapes. And, on a side note, all the comments really helped a lot of us get through this tragedy, Thank You!

Well, my boyfriend and I had just settled down on the couch to watch The Simpsons (that kinda makes me laugh now...The Simpsons) Anyway, almost at the exact same time both of our cell phones ring. Our mother's calling to make sure we are ok, they were watching everything on the news. My mom tells me that 2 of our officers have been shot. I hang up on my mom, unintentionally, and call dispatch. It was my shift, so it meant it was 2 of my officers. They told me who the officers were, one officer was shot in the leg region and the other officer was shot in the chest with a high powered rifle. I know we never like to let on that us dispatchers have favorites, but it was no secret. My favorite was the officer shot in the chest. There was little conversation between me and my boyfriend, who also works at the Sheriff's Dept and had always known the relationship between me and Frank (the officer involved). We drove directly to the hospital that we knew he'd be going to. We met up with Frank's wife, who at that time didn't have any update. We wait.....and wait....and wait. Finally, the SWAT doctor comes in. Keeping in mind that this is a fairly small dept so we all know one another. You could tell by the look on his face that it wasn't good news, but we all held out hope anyway. He bends down in front of Franks wife, held her hands and spoke softly. I'll never forget his words..."I'm sorry, I could'nt save him". The rest of that night went on basically in a blur. He was gone. I couldn't believe it. "My Francis" was never coming back.

That night I think we all cryed ourselves to sleep. The second I woke up I called work to find out if they caught the little f@cker. It was a 15 yo kid, he shot himself, but not after telling his friends that he shot 2 cops. Before I hung up the phone I was told that Franks wife called the Sheriff and told him that she wanted me to do Frank's "last call".
How was I going to say goodbye to my friend, and do it over the radio with hundreds of people listening. I'm not really sure how I did it, but I did....barely. I kinda lost it in the end. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But I was proud to do it. For those Dispatchers out there that have ever done this or will ever have to, my heart is with you.
Frank Denzinger E.O.W. 6-18-07..........WE MISS YOU!

Meangreen01_max50

2482 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

I understand your pain, I lost a good friend of mine on December 19, 2004 in a vehicle accident as he was responding to another agent's call for assistance. http://www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=17510 Rest in peace George.

I'm sorry for your loss, may he rest in peace. http://www.odmp.org/officer.php?oid=18926


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." ~ George Orwell

"Honor First!"

MODERATOR #1 & PL Mentoring Team Member