Emergency Operator

Emergency operator one one one
fire ambulance or police.
Operators speak briskly clearly.
State the options, connect to
caller’s required service. Then
hold themselves together to help
the caller,  answer the service’s
questions later if required.

Difficult on Christmas night
when families splinter, burst apart
as alcohol flows, men bellow,
punches pummel bodies, women
cry, children scream, sob call for
Mum and Nana. Public holidays
expose our underlying rifts.

Yet my worst night on emergency
calls  was not a holiday but an
ordinary night. Except that our
national rugby team lost the World
Rugby Cup Final, exposed to our
gaze on our television screens.

Men roared, punches pummelled
bodies, women cried, children
screamed, sobbed, called for Mum.
So many people lost that night
besides our national rugby team.

Emergency Operator

7 thoughts on “Emergency Operator

  1. This poem supports the awful statistics. Christmas is the worst time for relationship break ups and familial strife and football games seem to be followed by violence perpetrated on women and children. What is the answer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not know – we need a culture shift of some kind. My first encounter with Christmas calls was six weeks after I started that job, on a 3 pm to 11 pm shift on Christmas Day. I found it pretty bruising. What staggered me was that the other operators who had been there longer than me thought it was Christmas as usual.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember many years ago a psych friend telling me about this phenomena. I recalled my early childhood then. Male relatives had to put my step-grandfather to bed after Christmas dinner every year because he would become violent with drink. It seems alcohol plays a big part. It was the only time he ever drank alcohol. He served in the trenches in France in WWI as an underage teenager who had mis-stated his age to enlist. Many did then. Such a damaged soul.

        Liked by 1 person

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