The ugliness…

I’ve known for the last few years that I’m not the person I used to be…I stopped laughing…the healthy laugh, I was still smiling and was still using so-called gallows humor to help relieve stress but really laughing about something that tickles you way deep inside – it had stopped.  Emergency workers – whether they are EMS personnel, cops, nurses, dispatchers can laugh and eat their way thru a conversation about horrible things…the above mentioned HAVE to laugh their way thru their job or they would totally end their life bonkers swinging from the end of a rope from the top of a high ceiling.  I always go back to the story of my shift dispatch partner taking a particularly disgusting call that would make the normal person do a little shiver and shut down.  She took the call, got EMS enroute and went back to eating her hamburger.  I, who often congratulated myself on my ability to cope, turned to her and said OMG stop eating.  It has been a story retold several times in the dispatch center as a stress reliever for someone else taking a particular nasty call that no one should have happen to them, let alone anyone else should have to know about.

It’s the nature of the beast.  But years and years of it changes who you are.  I found myself being more normal after spending the afternoon with my old friend, Gena.  Normal is probably not the appropriate word…but I felt like my old self.  I didn’t feel the negativity and the dread in my soul that I so often feel… Waking up on Valentine’s Day, I will be retired.  I will be a former 911 operator – it was an incredible career.  I will always have my memories.  I’ve delivered babies over the phone, I’ve been the very last person to ever speak to someone taking their last breath.  I always remember the black lung victim who passed as the ambulance was approaching his door, murders, plane crashes, horrific traffic accidents, house fires and all of the people I have referred to as assholes after hitting release on the phone….many will always be remembered.   I’m so glad I’m done…I’m very tired of the ugliness…I hope to put those rose colored glasses back on and laugh until I can’t breath.

Until next time….

The newspaper story

Here’s the news story on the 23 year old being held against her will that I told you about earlier:
Authorities arrested a Pella man last week after local dispatchers received a report of a female being held against her will while driving on Highway 163 near Prairie City.

Rigoberto Castro Hurtado appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Monday on charges of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse and interference with official acts. The 34-year-old man is accused of fondling a 23-year-old female and threatening to take her to a hotel while forcing her to drive to Des Moines.

A Prairie City officer was notified of the situation by Jasper County Dispatch at 2:42 a.m. April 6 and located the suspect vehicle. After initiating a traffic stop, Hurtado — a passenger in the front seat — exited the vehicle and allegedly refused to obey the officer’s orders. When Hurtado attempted to re-enter the vehicle, the officer activated his taser, effectively stopping him, according to court documents.

Hurtado initially was arrested on a charge of second-degree sexual abuse, a class B felony, but a less serious charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse was filed against him during his preliminary hearing Monday.

The victim told authorities she pushed Hurtado away several times and that he threatened to kill three other male passengers — all in their mid-20s — in the back seat of the vehicle during the incident, but no one was injured.

Hurtado is being held in the Jasper County Jail on a $15,200 bond, and he is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges April 23. Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse is a serious misdemeanor with a penalty of no more than a year in jail and a fine between $250 and $1,500.