I am writing this post with mixed emotions. As of tomorrow, the dedicated dispatchers of the Rochester Communications Center will no longer handle your public safety calls for service. The Regional Old Colony Communications Center in Duxbury will take over the handling of your routine and emergency calls for service.
I would personally like to thank those that have served this community selflessly for many years. While I cannot speak to the last year and a half since I left the center, I can speak to the 20 years I was there and what I want the residents of Rochester to know is these folks gave the citizens and first responders a huge part of themselves. Not only did they work around the clock, spent years of holidays away from their families and extensively trained to be able to save the many lives they had, they took your tragedies home with them, and on occasion cared enough to cry for you or pray for you when the responders arrived. Many of those calls still affect many of us today!
For years that voice that you heard on the other end of the phone kept you calm, assured you help was on the way, and may have saved the life of you or your family member. I took pride in MY staff and their ability to multitask like a boss and support each other when the “Squid hit the sand.” I hired and trained the majority of folks that will leave the center this week; some will leave with jobs and some without. However, when they do walk out the door for the last time, I want them to know that they all kicked a** at what they did and know that many lives could have been very different today if were not for their diligence and perseverance to save lives and protect property.
No one had to stay until the end and they did, THEY ALL DID, and I could not be more proud of them! While no one knows what the future holds, I can assure you that the new folks that will be handling your calls will be the best they can to deliver the same professional level of service you had for many decades. Please take a moment and read the poem I wrote during my years at the Rochester Communications Center. Please consider stopping in and saying thanks – they will be there for the rest of the week and I am sure would appreciate knowing that made a difference. Thank you Patty Knight (24 years of service), Samantha Gomes (14), Jon Weedal (14), Deb Morrell (13), Ashley(Daniel) Mason (6), Dan Blizzard (2)!
Just a Voice
By Tracy Eldridge, Rochester
You don’t know who I am, to you I am just a voice.
It was me who took your frantic call when you had no other choice.
I spend many hours waiting to help when you’re in need.
“Send help to me, please get them here!” is often what you plead.
To do my job is complex, but only a few tools are a must.
Put your faith in me, I am the one you can trust.
My ears are a necessity, my mouth a mighty sword.
I must use my ears to listen, and then choreograph every word.
I am the protector of this land; I take pride in what I do.
I am here to listen and do what is best for you.
The day you place a call to me might be the worst day you ever had.
At least today you know I too was feeling sad.
I take your problems home with me, I know that’s not so good,
But as you felt your tragedy it was by your side I stood.
I walked with you to the door to let them in to help,
I guided you to safety when all alone you felt.
It is not often we hear praise or even simple thanks,
But the cookies and cards are plenty through police and fire ranks.
The day you placed your call and I picked up the phone.
I hope I made you feel safe and showed you you’re not alone.
Remember who I am, I am not just a voice.
I am the 911 dispatcher you called when you had no other choice.
The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.