This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

C.O.D.E: Living Happy, Healthy, and Whole Submerged in Tragedy, Trauma, and Death by Anita Agers-Brooks and Darren Dake

Horrific accidents, savage beatings, murder, suicide, autoerotic deaths, overdoses, burned and mutilated bodies: these are nearly every day occurrences for the extraordinary women and men who work in emergency services fields. These selfless individuals are exposed to things the everyday person rarely, if ever, sees. Yet, the men and women who sacrifice family and self-are often taken for granted — or treated as if their work doesn’t matter. In worst cases, they are treated like the bad guys. Over time, an accumulation of these experiences allows the slippery tentacles of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder, a/k/a Compassion Fatigue, to grip the minds, bodies, and souls of those who serve. 911 Operators, police, fire, EMS, death investigators, coroners, and others need to know they are not alone. C.O.D.E. addresses this reality in a real, raw, and relevant way, telling stories inspired by true events and authentic cases. Powerful tips at the end of each chapter offer hope, encouragement, and healing methods — real help for the hurting people who give their all. Foreword Domestic violence, car accidents, suicide, murder. . . . You read about them in your local newspaper, online and through social media. For a time after you read the article or headline, you show emotion for those who have been hurt, but you soon move on. For you, it’s over. But what about those working in public safety? Those news stories begin with, “9-1-1, what is your emergency?” From dispatch to those on the road, and to the medical examiner, a call for help can come in different forms, but the result is the same for those who respond. Eventually, it takes a toll on the soul. In reading C.O.D.E., written by Anita Agers-Brooks and Darren Dake, I revisited my thirteen years in 9-1-1 as an on the line dispatcher and supervisor. This is a must-read for those in public safety who have experienced the worst the industry has to offer and who are looking to rise above the pitfalls such as depression, PTSD, Compassion Fatigue and more. The stories of Caleb and Josie were all too real. Like Josie, I took a few calls when I stopped to think, Is this someone I know? Working in the county I grew up in, the odds were high that it was a friend or relative. In 2007, I took a call from my cousin telling me our grandmother had just passed away. My job was tough, but I loved what I did. Like Caleb and Josie, I didn’t talk to anyone, and I buried my emotions. In C.O.D.E., Brooks and Dake walk you through cases based on true events. At the end of each story, they offer tips of hope, ways to stop and analyze your situation and better communicate your feelings with loved ones, so you can heal from the trauma. I found closure and healing through writing my 9-1-1 stories out on my blog, The Jabber Log, and creating, Within the Trenches, a podcast based on the experience of being a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Through this, I created #IAM911. A movement that gives a raw glimpse into the emotional stress that comes with each 9-1-1 call through the words of each dispatcher. C.O.D.E. is another crucial healing resource. Those who work in emergency services, care about someone who does or are curious about what those on the front line deal with, should read this book. —Ricardo Martinez II, host and creator of the Within the Trenches podcast. He is currently the Director of Communications at INdigital, a 9-1-1 solutions company in Indiana. In August 2016, Ricardo started the #IAM911, a movement that spread from the United States to Canada, the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. It’s popularity and success has brought the Thin Gold Line into the spotlight, and has opened the eyes of millions to what 9-1-1 dispatchers deal with daily.

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