That Dispatch Movie: Halle Berry about “The Call”

by pjmcbride

English: Actress Halle Berry at the 83rd Acade...

English: Actress Halle Berry at the 83rd Academy Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just saw Halle Berry talking to Jay Leno about the new movie. A few observations:

–Her previous impression about 911 operators was that they worked in some sort of “bunker.” She was  impressed by the un-bunker-like qualities of the 911 center in the Los Angeles area which she visited. However, the fact is that some 911 centers are located, say, underground. They were originally going to put the operations area (or, for greater nerdly coolness, you can say “ops,” as  in, “Return to Ops, stat!”) of my own center in a windowless room, until we convinced them morale would plummet to underground levels.

–She had thought there were only 2-3 people answering 911 at a time in a given area. Well, maybe in tiny hamlets, but our Semi-Major Midwestern City requires at least six.

–Of course, they had a short clip, and short as it was, I’m already objecting to it. No 911 dispatcher who’s made it out of training will freak out because a caller screams. Maybe there was context in that scene I’m not getting from that clip, but come on. Which brings me to…

–What I found to be the most interesting point of the interview–She mentioned that the L.A. center has a special room you can go to after a particularly upsetting incident, and it’s quiet and no one is allowed to disturb you. They call this “debugging.” My mind was immediately flooded with questions:

—-How do you decide what’s especially upsetting?

—-How do you get people to use it? I’d be afraid people would think I couldn’t handle the job. And I’d be one of the people who thought that.

—-How long do you get to stay in there?

—-How can they afford to have people be out of operations like that? I mean, we don’t even get lunch breaks away from our consoles. We have excellent talking-with-our-mouths-full skills. Not that I feel resentful when officers get to go to, say, a steakhouse, and not be disturbed for an hour, or anything. Not a bit.

Excuse me while I go get debugged.