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Check Out Kristen Jauregui’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Jauregui.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have been a 911 dispatcher for over 21 years now. I started while I was still in my teens. The only thing I knew about dispatching was that I would be answering emergency calls, typing information into the computer & giving that information to the officers. I have always had worked service jobs, none of which prepared me for the stress of coming with this job. I didn’t know what to expect. In dispatch, we work all hours of the night & day, every day of the year. You miss family events, friend get-togethers, and holidays. We speak to people experiencing the worst day of their lives. We hear the screams of mothers finding their baby dead from SIDs or finding that a loved one had committed suicide. Sometimes we even talk to those that want to kill themselves and end up doing so while on the phone with us.

Dispatch is a full-time job of servitude, but it can be a heavy emotional job. I met my burnout around my 10-year mark. I was tired, and I was over it; I lost sympathy for many. I dreaded coming to work; while I was at work, I was barely mentally present, I did the bare minimum. I was angry & I was over it. At the time I knew, this feeling needed to stop if I wanted to finish my career out, but I didn’t know how and I didn’t know who to speak to. Unfortunately, in the first responder world, to show emotion is to be weak; to ask for help is seen as weak. That way of thinking needed to change, not just for me but for my industry. This need was the start of my journey to working on my physical, mental health & wellness.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
There are many obstacles when working within Law Enforcement. We generally are all strong A-type personalities who are all about helping others, except when it comes to helping ourselves. We are to be seen as the strong ones, the ones who have it all together and cannot/will not let our guard down or ask for help, even if it kills us. LITERALLY. Although being strong and determined were good qualities to have, I also realized that it allowed my pride to push all other emotions aside. I began working on myself, putting my own time & money into books, podcasts, traveling to Masterminds, events & resiliency classes that focused on self-worth, self-love, and mindset. Along this journey, I came to realize that I was not alone in the way I felt. I’ve spoken to hundreds of dispatchers that feel the burnout and frustration like I did.

As the universe would have it, resiliency & mindset are becoming a topic discussed at the forefront. Last year I was blessed to have been accepted to be trained for just that in Quantico at the FBI Academy to help teach other first responders how to become resilient in a world that can be so relentless. I try to share what I’ve learned with my classes and my co-workers, my social media & through my podcast that I co-host called The 911 Strong Podcast in the most subtle way possible. Knowing that we don’t always have a safe space or someone to turn to I am also currently working on a 6-month gratitude journal solely for first responders. I can overcome those walls and obstacles presented in the first responder world by being completely authentic, open, and consistent.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My work in dispatch has to do with a lot of multitasking, staying calm in stressful situations, and thinking on your toes. We cannot allow fear or emotion to take over. We also have to listen to the radio while listening to the caller because the officer might need help. We run multiple records, checking addresses and vehicle information. We set up containments and call outside agencies for many reasons and do a lot of paperwork. I also work with my husband, a corporal on the SWAT team, which can present its own set of challenges as a wife and a co-worker. I often get asked how I handle intense situations, and my answer is, luckily, I have been successful at turning off the “wife part” of my brain and only function as a co-worker until the shift is over. Yes, I have been tested several times. Outside of work, my busy passion work is connecting with other dispatchers. Mostly new dispatchers help them understand what the job consists of, what to expect of callers and their co-workers. We truly can be a tough crowd. I help them prepare for testing and interviews. I also help them while in training. I’ve done many zoom calls and webinars. I want to prevent burnout for them. I want them to know that it is ok to talk about what they are going through and that they are not alone.

How do you think about happiness?
My happiness has always been to help others. Knowing that I made a difference is a massive deal for me. My happiness also consists of having an extremely supportive husband who supports this passion of mine. I also have three amazing daughters who I love spending all of my time with. We all love to travel and camp. We make family time a high priority & when we are in those moments, we make sure that we are mentally and physically present to enjoy every single moment. I know how short life can be and agree to leave the work talk at work.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Additional Photos: Not professional/taken by myself Fitness Photo: Audra Oden Photography @Audraodenphotography Pic with Hat: Allee Williams @rightupyourallee Personal Photo & last 3 photos: Monica @girlsquadinc

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1 Comment

  1. Matthew Wittmer

    February 9, 2021 at 11:29

    So cool to read your story. I interviewed as 911 dispatcher in LA and Glendale two decades ago because I wanted to help others. Wound up becoming a case worker but was always remained fascinated with dispatch work and remember well seeing the dispatchers in action when I toured both units. Your story and commitment to this critical work is so valued and important. More should be written about what your work entails. Thank you so much for sharing here.

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