Answering 911 by Caroline Burau
Life in the Hot Seat

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You answer a call from a fourteen-year-old boy asking for someone to arrest his mother, who is smoking crack in their bathroom. You talk with him until the cops arrive, making sure there are no weapons around and learning that his favorite subject in school is lunch. Five minutes later, you have to deal with someone complaining about his neighbor's clarinet practice.What is it like to be on the receiving end of desperate calls for help . . . every day? Caroline Burau, a former newspaper reporter and nursing student who couldn't stand the sight of blood, takes a job as an emergency dispatcher because she likes helping people. But on-the-job training at the comm center proves to be more than she bargained for. As she adjusts to a daily life of catastrophe and comedy, domestics and drunks, cops and robbers, junk food and sarcasm, lost cats and suicides, she discovers that crisis can become routine, that coworkers can be mean--that she must continue to care and, at times, learn how to let go. Praise for Answering 911"The day may come when I have to dial 911. I hope to God that the person who answers is Caroline Burau or someone like her. Funny, honest, and elegantly simple, this book left me with a sense of grace and hope." --Alison McGhee, author of Shadow Baby, Rainlight, Was It Beautiful?, and Falling Boy.

About Caroline Burau

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Caroline Burau is a 911 dispatch operator for the police and fire departments in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Published July 24, 2009 by Borealis Books. 216 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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I want to save lives, but I'm willing to settle for just not killing anybody, " confides this suburban Minneapolis author about being a rookie 911 dispatch operator .

Jun 12 2006 | Read Full Review of Answering 911: Life in the Ho...

News Review.

There was an old commercial for a pain reliever that showed a 911 dispatcher rubbing her head and saying, “I have a direct line into people’s worst nightmares.” As Caroline Burau’s memoir makes clear, dispatchers also have a direct line into people’s stupidest moments.

Sep 28 2006 | Read Full Review of Answering 911: Life in the Ho...

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