Thursday, March 29, 2012

Once upon a time....

Once upon a time, I was a Dispatcher.  I worked the Emergency Call Center for a local county.  All Fire, Medical, and Law Enforcement calls went through us.  Also, as we were a county wide dispatch office (instead of just an emergency office) we handled calls for other county services:  Schools, Animal Control, Public Utilities, Et Al.

This lead to some interesting calls.

Our county was...  Growing.  When I was a kid, the county was considered poor but being on an interstate some interesting industries had opened up.  These industries gave the county a nice tax base and when I was in college the county was able to install a 911 system.  Shortly thereafter the low cost of property lead to a lot of people with money moving in.

It was actually quite common to drive around and see a McMansion constructed next to a hand build shack.

Hmm...  Let's find a story for me to tell about my adventures as a Dispatcher.  Let me preface it with the fact that the county had always been friendly to agriculture.  Plenty of farms.  This county was the only local area where exotic animal farms were legal.  Suddenly they were popping up everywhere.  Lions.  Tigers.  Monkeys.  Ostrich.  You name it, someone probably raised it.  With the exception of elephants.  I never saw any elephants.  Those things are pretty hard to miss.

I was taking calls and someone called in to the non-emergency number.

Caller:  "Sorry to bother you, but this is kind of odd."
Me:  "No problem, that is what we are here for.  What is going on?"
Caller:  "I'm not too sure, but I swear that there is an Emu in my back yard."
Me:  "No problem ma'am.  I'll notify Animal Control.  You are only about a mile from an exotic animal farm."

Actually, I do find it a little odd that someone can live so close to an exotic animal farm and not know it.

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