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Start the PST academy next week

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by SiberianErik, May 30, 2013.

  1. SiberianErik


    Feb 9, 2009
    Hi all, I have decided that I am coming out of retirement and starting my second career. I always wanted to be in LE but for one reason or another (poor eyesight being the major one) never went ahead with the process. I went into the medical field and did that for 15 years. I worked in psych and the ER for most of that. I have a BSN in nursing and a BS in Psychology. I can handle stress obviously and while in the ER I always took the Suicide Hotline calls, Teen Suicide Prevention line, 211, etc...

    I am still young (44) and have strong skills in computers, multi tasking, etc...a deputy I worked with in the ER always said I would be a great Communication officer and that I should apply to the Criminal Justice PST (Public Safety Telecommunications) Academy. It is 4 months long and I start on June 3 and graduate in the Fall. After that I can sit for the Florida State Exam after which I will be a lic/certified Communication Officer.

    I thrive in high stress environments, probly why I lasted 15 years in the ER when most people wash out after a few months. The class size is small, 14 students. Out of the 14 from last class, 12 were conditional hires as soon as they passed the exam. The avg startting salary fro my area is in the low $40's w/most FT people w/ 5 yrs on the job in $70K range and excellent benefits.

    I wish this week would hurry up, cannot wait to start my first class. The CJ academy already does all the BG invest and stuff so the PD is more willing to hire you as they know you are GTG already. Just about every dept in the area visited the class over the 4 months and each one gave their name/number to be contacted for a position. I was told it was a reverse job fair, where they are looking for you and not the other way around.

    I meet my class already and most are females in their 30's, it is funny that 4 of 10 females are elem. school teachers looking to get out of teaching haha. The other 4 of us are males, professionals, looking to get into public safety position that is non LEO.

    any last minute advice? I was told already by some LEO's, don't yell into the mic, speak clearly, keep it short and concise.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  2. rgregoryb

    rgregoryb Sapere aude

    Oct 20, 2004
    Republic of Alabama
    have no worries, you sound like you will do well. Know where everybody is, all the time.

  3. RyanNREMTP

    RyanNREMTP Inactive/Banned

    Jun 16, 2007
    Waco, Texas
    Just remember, the field crew is always right.

  4. SiberianErik


    Feb 9, 2009
    At one sit along, the CO had over 100 officers he was responsible for and there was a huge 80" flat screen on the wall (I thought it was a TV to watch for when it was slow lol) that showed where all the cars were in the county via their GPS transponders. 100 officers PLUS a dozen or so marine units and 6 air units. Holy crap that is alot of responsibility..again I eat that stuff up. The busier, more crazy, more screamin/yelling over the phone is better for me. Like I said I would handle all the radio traffci from EMS units inbound to the ER, answer 400 calls a night from various sources, do tele -medicine, AND work on pt's w/gun shots etc.. all at the same time for 12 hr shifts.

    I work in a large gun store right now p/t just for the discounts :whistling: I have to shake my head when guys get flustered over having to listen to their IRADs, answer the phone about if we have any .22LR, and deal w/ a customer in front of them. I just shake my head and wonder what a educated 25 y/o can do if that is too much stress for him.
  5. FiremanMike

    FiremanMike Way too busy

    Jul 26, 2007
    The interwebs
    My humble advice, go get your NP or CRNA instead. You have the basis for a career with a ton more mobility and unprecedented earning capacity, there's absolutely no reason to go be a dispatcher.
  6. SiberianErik


    Feb 9, 2009
    you sound like my dad :steamed:, just throw in that i am killin babies by selling "assault weapons" and drive a Maybach 57 and you are there. He says he paid for all my education and I am "throwing it all away" by going this route.

    The prob is that I am incredibly burned out, :faint: the last year in the ER, I gained 30 lbs, was sick all the *****g time, got so depressed I should have been on meds, but didnt thank god. My body/mind was rebelling against the job so I had to leave/retire.

    A month or so away from it and I was a new man, lost weight, not sick anymore etc...I am done w/nursing, no amt of $$$ could make me go back, ever. I want to be part of the LEO community and I feel this is probly my best route. I was deciding between this and the Probation/Parole Officer route or even Correction Officer :pig: In the end, this is the least physically demanding and has the potential for a 25 year gig.

    I must be drawn to it in some way in that I will stream off this

    when I am working on the puter or just bored surfing GT, ARFCOM, HKPRO, or Nissan XTERRA forums. I love the sound of police radios and even as a kid was fascinated listening to my uncle Joes radio in his car, he was the Under sheriff of Baker County (right outside Jacksonville,FL)

    Having trouble sleeping right now and I am still 4 days/3 nights away :embarassed:
  7. FiremanMike

    FiremanMike Way too busy

    Jul 26, 2007
    The interwebs
    <shrug> it's your life, and I'm not trying to sound like your dad, but I have experienced just about every aspect of public safety there is (I've even spent a few shifts in the dispatcher chair on overtime..) and I can tell you that, in the end, this is probably a bad move. Also, yes I've worked in the hospital, I know it sucks, but at least you have options.. The immaturity and backstabbing you think you're escaping, you're not..

    Again, your call. Sounds like your mind is made up. So my advice as a dispatcher is this - on our side of the radio, we hate snarky dispatchers. If you made a mistake, own if rather than telling us on the radio that its someone else's fault. Remember, any incident that's stressful for you as the call taker is likely 10x worse for the guys on the street.

    Have fun!
  8. RyanNREMTP

    RyanNREMTP Inactive/Banned

    Jun 16, 2007
    Waco, Texas
    Also as a former dispatcher, expect to gain that weight back and perhaps then some. I remember coming home from a 12 hour shift just mentally tired, not physically, just mentally tired.
  9. Whatever your final decision on this, good luck!

    And in 25 years, when you're eligible to retire and you're 69 y.o., whatever pension you get here will be a welcomed addition to your retirement plans, which you'll be looking forward to!
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  10. jph02


    Jun 10, 2012
    It takes 4 months to learn how to say "9-1-1, what's your emergency?" jk

    Seriously, I hope this turns out just the way you're envisioning it and I'm glad you're getting the chance to do what you want to do. For the naysayers, there is a wide variety of public safety dispatching careers, to include managing large metro centers, etc. And it sounds like good odds with the male-female ratio in the class! :)
  11. boomhower


    Feb 14, 2010
    North Carolina
    Good luck. Depending on your location you can go a long way considering your educational background. Start out in as a dispatcher in the 911 center, end up as the director of emergency services.
  12. Metro566

    Metro566 Gunfighter

    May 27, 2011
    There's an academy for dispatching? That should be implemented our dispatchers take a written, interview, then start in dispatch shadowing other dispatchers.

    My only advice is to get as much info as you can and be clear when dispatching info. Also, try and have some patience with us guys on the road...there is a lot of headbutting at times between the field and the comms - sometimes our fault, sometimes dispatches fault - but in the end we all work on the same side and want to accomplish the same goal; go home safely to our family.
  13. Sohryu76


    Feb 13, 2013
    expect to gain the weight back. You'll be stressed at work, you'll get crap from the callers... you'll get crap from the units in the field, and you might even get crap from your coworkers.

    Training at my agency takes about 6 months from first day sitting down in the office for classroom work to being signed off on phones, police, fire, EMS boards. And even then there is still much to learn.

    absolutely should be something like this everywhere. the problem is that at least here in PA, everything is different county to county and agency to agency.

    Be polite is the best advice I can give you. Yeah sometimes the guys in the field can be aggravating... they know it too... but being professional even when they are aggravated and moody can go a long way to earning their respect. And once you have their respect... if then you sound pissed off at them over the radio, they will usually call in to apologize.

    I have coworkers who are total jerks over the radio to units in the field if they hear something they don't 100% like.

    It's crap. I'm currently waiting on a call back to go to another agency in the county.
  14. SiberianErik


    Feb 9, 2009
    UPDATE: I am interning w/my two "dream agencies" their words not week. I am really enjoying the class so far !!!. I am carrying a 99.8% avg so..happy about that.

    One PITA thing is the S and 10 codes...good lord that is a task getting those down pat. We have 118 10 codes and 107 S codes. Then of course each individ. agency has their own little modifications to those, they are not universal so to say.

    I am shocked to learned most calls to 911 (around 75%) are NON about the weather, time, day/date, just wow.

    The class started slow but now is picked up speed, we have guests come in like K9, SWAT, we get to visit the Avation HQ in a few weeks and go over the comms in the Trauma Hawk and Eagle 1,2, 3 (three LEO choppers). Cannot wait for that.

    I def made the right choice, I watch the LEO and CO academies and *** that, I am too old to be humping out in the sun w/ the DI screaming at the pvt pyles in the group.

    We already lost 20% of the class so is tough.

    I have 4 great instructors, and they really take an interest in the material. WE are down to like 10 students so you cannot hide from them if you are not up on the material, to say the least. All of them also are on the hiring boards at their respective agencies so we have an "in" for that.

    WE watch alot of very sad vids, we went over the Dinklehoffer (sic) vid, posted on ARFCOM alot as well some other ones. Last night we had a class on "Sovern Citizens" WTF...we are being trained to spot certain info that comes from their car vid was of a traffic stop in Ohio on a Sovern Citizen. The guys teen son jumped out and blasted away w/ an AK killing both officers. :( the vid is insane.

    So again learning lots of stuff I had no clue about.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  15. Hey, if they're aren't calling 9-1-1 about nonsense, they'd be on GNG posting nonsense. So thanks for taking the bullet for the team!

    Any chance when you go operational, you ask them for their address, phone number and also their GNG handle? :whistling:
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  16. nursetim


    Mar 1, 2006
    liberalville N. M.
    Good luck and best wishes. That said, Are you nucking futs? Dude, the ER burnt you out. Dispatch will finish you. I could give a turkey about if you use your RN or not. Dispatchers get spun up with anderenalin dump, but unlike LE, there is no physical release to burn off those stress hormones that will stagnate in you system. Being a nurse is bad enough in the stress dept. but your gonna screw your butt into a chair for 12hrs 3-4 times a week? Worse 8hrs 5 times a week, likely nights because all the senior people are on days.

    Either, bust it out and go full on LEO, which will kill as well from stress, just a little slower. Care to take a stab at how long LEO's survive retirement on average? Last estimate I read was 5 yrs.

    Think back, did you ever take care of a retired dispatcher? Ever? If so, are they still alive, not making a statement about your nursing skills. I have cared for thousands of patients, I honestly don't recall any old dispatchers or cops, hosemonkeys, a few, but none in the other categories.

    In the end you will follow your heart's desire and nothing anyone says will alter your choice. So my opening statement closes this.
  17. jpa

    jpa CLM

    May 28, 2001
    Las Vegas NV
    As a 10 year dispatcher, don't do it. I started dispatching when I was 22, 275lbs and with a full head of hair. Now I'm 32, 332lbs (actually down 40 lbs in the last year) and almost no hair left. I just met with a friend who dispatched for DPS here and got burned out after 3 years. Dispatching is not conducive to a long and happy career and it will spill over into your home life, your family life, etc. I really miss having hair. I miss enjoying going to work. I miss not hitting the snooze button a dozen times because I didn't want to have to go to work. I miss not counting how many hours of sick leave I have banked when debating whether or not I call in sick.

    I'm working on my exit plan now...I'm totally over it.
  18. Duplicate
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  19. Sohryu76


    Feb 13, 2013
    I'm surprised you're using 10 codes. Agencies up here really got away from using them because there is no standardization of them. Had a state trooper once call for an ambulance for a cow on the roadway using 10 codes when they were still being widely used. (Troopers 10-codes were obviously different from ours. Really surprised you guys aren't going with NIMS yet.
    even the emergency 911 calls end up being non emergency most of the time.
    It is physically easier training to be a dispatcher than a LEO or CO... but once you are in that Chair 8-12 hours a day... make sure you have some sort of physical stress relief, and join a gym. Maybe one with punching bags. I go to the gym and the police pistol range. Helps with stress.
    yet once you are out of training, you'll have everyone from citizens calling in and cops telling you how easy it is being a dispatcher, and probably try to help you do your job.
    You'll learn even more on the job. Including but not limited to, officers pulling traffic stops without calling them out.

    Find some way of physically dumping that adrenalin. I have a membership at the gym, I ride my bike, and I shoot with cops. The shooting probably helps the most.

    I'm in 3 years.
    It's very stressful. Very.

    I started at 280 pounds. Last November I was up to 290. I am currently down to 255.

    The job is not enjoyable from night to night. Some nights are, depending who and what I am dispatching. But the people I work with mostly make it better.
    I can't wait to go from 8hours a night for 6 nights/2 nights off to 12 hours a night 3 or 4 nights a week alternating.
    But I am still on my exit plan as well.