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Dispatch - the calm voice in the night



I started my short 911 dispatch career in 2018. My journey was and is… interesting.


I graduated in 2008 with my Master’s degree in Criminal Justice at the height of the (last) recession we were in. I couldn’t find a job in my field, and ended up getting hired as an Intensive In Home Therapist working with kids and families where the child was at risk of being removed from the home. I was definitely NOT prepared or trained for this position and learned through trial by fire. Through this position I was able to pursue trainings in trauma and trauma informed care! For another time I suppose…


When the non profit I was working for was unable to bill for me (due to not having the appropriate certifications), I was laid off. The timing was actually pretty great as I was burnt out and needed a break. After six months of rest and recovery, I was able to get connected back to my degree and passion space through Juvenile Probation.


I worked on a specialized team who worked specifically with the highest risk kids taken out of the community and placed into residential facilities. This was in lieu of juvenile prison. I like to tell people I worked with the gun toting thugs and I LOVED it. After about 5 years and a few promotions I was passed over for, I decided it was time for a change.

I found dispatch somewhat by accident. I didn’t even know dispatch was a thing. I knew I did not want to be a cop, and probation was definitely law enforcement, but I was once again coming to a place of burn out and needed a change.


After much discussion, I made the transition to my county dispatch… this transition in and of itself is quite the adventure and saga … again… for another time.

I LOVED the work of dispatch. I loved being in the mix on the front lines. I loved connecting with my officers and supporting them as they responded to the needs of my community. I even loved being with individuals in their worst moments on the 911 calls. I felt connected to this bigger picture and there was purpose to me giving up time with my friends and family.


Now, don’t get me wrong… there are a few things I DID NOT love about working in dispatch… none of which had to do with the actual job though.


I left dispatch at the end of 2020, for the same reasons most people leave dispatch… leadership, schedule, impact on family; if you’re a dispatcher… you know. I was not in dispatch long compared to most, and I was there long enough to understand the warriors beneath the headset.


When I left dispatch I did not know what was next, I just kept doing the next right thing. I was led to my current position through my Functional Health Practitioner. You see I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2014 and got REALLY sick in 2016, all of which I have and will continue to share. So, you may ask, where am I today. I am of course right here.. talking to you! :D


Today, I am my own Functional Health Practitioner on a mission to help my dispatch, law enforcement, and fire family heal from the chronic stress on the front lines that steals health and vitality.


I love my dispatch family. I miss the frontlines, I still dable of course because once your dispatch and it gets into your blood, it never goes away.


Most of my time now is spent connecting with individuals and bringing knowledge, understanding, and healing to those I talk with. It's a pretty great life and brings about some interesting adventures!

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Thank you for sharing! It is great to learn about others’ experiences and healing journeys.

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Sara Pagel
Sara Pagel
Sep 16, 2022
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My pleasure! ❤️

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