I live in Las Vegas.
I am a first responder. The very first the be exact.
I am a dispatcher, a 911 call taker and dispatcher. I take calls you couldn’t imagine hearing let alone living, and I do it without hesitation, over and over again. One right after the other. This is the job I was born to do, I’ve never wanted anything different. I’ve wanted this since I was 7 years old.
I was at work, In our dispatch center on this tragic night. Let me tell you, it’s one I will never forget, and not because I don’t want to. But because PTSD Is real, no matter where you work or what you do, its a real thing. It’s extremely frightening, In case you’ve never experienced something so awful.
I relive this day, over and over and over again. Like a record placed on loop. Broken and cracked. The gun shots over the radio, the room buzzing with scared voices, You can hear the anxiety rise even in the dead silence. Organized chaos. While some of us glued to out seats, answering phone calls of loved ones who lost their sons, daughter, sister, brothers, husbands. I was on radio, listening to the sgts call out the number of causalities, and all of their locations. The units yelling for the ambulances to hurry, and get there because this person isn’t going to make it. They are taking their last breath in that officers arms. That feeling of helplessness, its almost unbearable. I couldn’t do anything to make things move faster. What was supposed to be 3o minutes on one channel turned into 10 hours. That slowly moved as the number of injured rose. We were in the dark, figuratively and literally. The officers running into a war zone, not knowing where the shooter was or if they’d make it out alive. Calling their husbands and wives to tell them they love them in case that was the last time they spoke to them. The night became a blur, I couldn’t keep up, I was slowly losing it, & I couldn’t just get up and walk away. This was my job, the one I was made for. I was there to help these citizens and officers in everyway I could! 4 days went by, working 12 hour shifts, no days off, & still answering the questions that didn’t have an answer. Trying to find the best way to explain to someone that we are doing everything we can and that we don’t know if it will be alright.
Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, everything I owned was quickly deactivated as I couldn’t bare to hear or see anything in relation to the shooting during the hours I should be sleeping. Knowing that I would forever be haunted by that day. I slept on the couch, in my own house, for over a month. Reminding myself that the nightmare had ended. But only for me, for others who lost the ones they loved, they have to continue to relive this night. I wish I could reach out and touch the hearts of every single human directly affected by this terrifying night. A million condolences will never mean anything to those, the want and need to speak to or hold that person again, that will never fade. It will get easier over time, but who really knows how much time is needed. How unfair is it that one person had to take so many people away. What did they do to deserve this, what did their family do…
I’ve been on with this department for 2 years now, I couldn’t be any more proud of those brave men and women, from my department, and from every other LE or Medical department involved. I’m so proud to say that I’m part of this family. The Blue, red & Gold family. I’ve never been more proud of this city, the city of sin.