Q: You sound like you’re able to handle the ups and downs of this job pretty well.
A: I think the key to doing this job, in addition to multitasking and speed of movement, is to be able to handle the emotional components. I’m good at it; I’m empathetic and I don’t take it home at the end of the day. I can talk about things like domestic violence; it’s just a reality.
Q: How long have you been doing this job?
A: I’ve been doing it for nine years. My job now is training supervisor, so I manage ongoing training. New trainees go through a nine-month process; we have an academy. They learn call-taking, radio dispatching, the medical aspect, interpersonal skills.
And you have to know geography. Geography is so important, because people can call and have no clue where they are.
A video clip of La Paz, Bolivia’s crossing guard zebras, the Cebra Voluntaria. Traffic in La Paz is so dangerous that its mayor started a program to have youths dressed as zebras help people across the city’s busiest intersections. From the recent issue of Monocle:
It doesn’t get much busier than La Paz’s Plaza San Francisco of a Friday afternoon. Two zebras stand on the curb chatting with a teenage girl. Then something remarkable happens: the traffic light turns red, and at the sight of the zebras, the cars actually stop. One driver, however, is a little slow and the nose of his car is left hanging over the crossing. One of the zebras skips over to the offending car and mimes pushing it backwards. Then he continues skipping across to the other side of the street.