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The LEO First Podcast

Nov 14, 2023

In Episode 35 of our podcast, we had the privilege of hosting Deborah Green, who has dedicated three decades to the world of emergency dispatch. With an impressive 28 years of experience in this critical role, Deborah's insights into the challenges and triumphs of this demanding profession are invaluable.

Hailing from El Dorado, California, Deborah's journey into dispatch began in 1986, a year marked by significant events in her life and in the world. She served in the military police department and found herself in the academy during the tumultuous Rodney King incident, a time when she was also on a journey of self-discovery.

Deborah's dispatch career commenced at the tender age of 19. Life took her to Texas, where she faced personal challenges, including divorce, all while being the heartbeat of her department. She described the importance of critical incident stress management, a practice that she herself has been engaged in through therapy since 2016.

Over the years, Deborah has learned to use the tools from therapy to help calm distressed individuals during emergency calls, a skill that undoubtedly saved lives. She vividly recounted her first 911 call, which was a mother discovering her daughter had committed suicide, a moment that left an indelible mark on her.

The year 2015 brought a life-changing event when Deborah was the dispatcher during a February shooting incident. She shared the concept of "pump head" and how it accentuates the importance of mental health in her line of work. She has always viewed the world through a rose-colored lens but is acutely aware of the constant need to be vigilant and identify potential threats.

Deborah retired from her dispatch career but not before helping a little along the way. Her last incident in 2019 involved a shooting and became a catalyst for her to undergo critical incident debriefing. Since retirement, she has found happiness and balance in life.

Balancing the demands of working graveyards and being a mom was no small feat, and she shares her wisdom on using time wisely and the possibility of rebuilding relationships. Above all, Deborah is an advocate for mental health awareness, encouraging everyone to acknowledge their mental health issues.

You can connect with Deborah Green on LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, and more. She leaves the podcast with final words directed at top law enforcement leaders, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the mental health challenges faced by the dedicated individuals working on the front lines of emergency dispatch.

Deborah's journey as a dispatcher is an inspiration and a testament to the resilience and strength of those who work tirelessly behind the scenes in our emergency response systems.

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