BN.com Gift Guide

Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat

( 18 )

Overview

“At a pace matching the flashing lights on a 911 console, Caroline Burau puts us in the hot seat and shows us the madness, the sadness, and the gallows humor of a profession that serves and protects in ways we never dream. And by telling us what goes on when the microphone is silent, she has taken the voice on the radio and given it heart.”  Michael Perry, author of Population 485 and Truck: A Love Story

 

“A witty, gritty look at ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $12.17   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$12.17
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(10631)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
New Book. Shipped from US within 4 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000

Ships from: Secaucus, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$13.79
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(23565)

Condition: New
BRAND NEW

Ships from: Avenel, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$21.14
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(4531)

Condition: New
New Book. Shipped from UK within 4 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000.

Ships from: Horcott Rd, Fairford, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$21.54
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(17845)

Condition: New
Brand New, Perfect Condition, Please allow 4-14 business days for delivery. 100% Money Back Guarantee, Over 1,000,000 customers served.

Ships from: Westminster, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$11.99 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

“At a pace matching the flashing lights on a 911 console, Caroline Burau puts us in the hot seat and shows us the madness, the sadness, and the gallows humor of a profession that serves and protects in ways we never dream. And by telling us what goes on when the microphone is silent, she has taken the voice on the radio and given it heart.”  Michael Perry, author of Population 485 and Truck: A Love Story

 

“A witty, gritty look at life on the receiving end of our cries for help.”  Reader’s Digest (Editor’s Choice)

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.

 

 “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

 

Caroline Burau is a 911 dispatch operator for the police and fire departments in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

 

 

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

City Pages
"Burau's account nicely draws the reader into the world of a do-gooder stretched to the limits of her ability to help at all....We see a perceptive mind trying to make sense of both internal and external chaos."
Reader's Digest
"A witty, gritty look at life on the receiving end of our cries for help - [Burau] proves she found her true calling."
"Five Things We Don't Want You to Miss," August 2006
Publishers Weekly
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 . In simple prose that is often crass and amateurish, Burau recounts moments of terror and incompetence among her colleagues: one dispatcher plays computer games while listening to a suicidal caller ; others send medics to the wrong address while an acid-burn victim suffers. Cynical and bitter after two years on the job, Burau has harsh words for callers who report cell phones stolen from unlocked cars; a "frequent flyer" (someone "always in crisis") who wants the police to baby-sit her kids; and a woman whose grisly trailer-home suicide is relayed by her hysterical 12-year-old daughter. Recalling her abortive attempts as nursing student, reporter for a community paper and locksmith and, in sordid detail, her addiction to crack and an abusive boyfriend, Burau has been in recovery for 11 years and has married and adopted a stepdaughter she adores but worries about failing. Although this clearly isn't her intention, Burau's honest memoir of the 911 trenches will make readers queasy about the quality of emergency service personnel in their own communities. (Aug. 15) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Burau shares her journey of becoming a 911 dispatch operator in suburban Minnesota. After trying various school and career options-nursing school didn't work out when she discovered her aversion to blood-Burau, determined to find a career in which she could help people, decided to try answering 911 calls. A former journalist, she skillfully weaves her life story into short vignettes about the calls, her coworkers, her family, her training, and her constant worrying. She pulls no punches when describing some of life's most tragic moments but softens the blow with her witty inner commentary, e.g., "When a woman called because her child had been hit by a car, my first thought was: She should call 911. Oh my God, I AM 911." Burau is endearingly human as she shares her complicated journey through life, which involves everything from overcoming a troubled youth to balancing work and family. While she may have found her calling as a 911 dispatcher, let's hope she continues with her new writing career as well. Highly recommended for public libraries and true crime/memoir collections.-Karen Sandlin Silverman, Lib. Svcs., Ctr. for Applied Research, Philadelphia Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Adult/High School
Burau provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the dispatchers whose job alternates between stretches of boredom and episodes of fear, stress, and chaos. Although she doesn't provide many specific stories, she conveys what it is like to answer the phone, become involved in a crisis, and maybe never learn how it was resolved. The author's path to working as a dispatcher was circuitous. In high school, she became involved with drugs and an abusive boyfriend. After a three-day jail stint, she returned home, got sober, graduated college, and found the love of her life. Inspired by a desire to help people, she studied nursing but couldn't stand the sight of blood. After a brief career as a reporter at a local paper, she applied to work as a dispatcher-a difficult, demanding job she is still not sure she is good at, much like (step)motherhood. Burau ably shows what it's like to be responsible for lives when one is miles from the emergency. This is a fast, fascinating read.
—Susan SalpiniCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873515696
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 206
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Burau is a 911 dispatch operator for the police and fire departments in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


What It's Like     3
Destiny, or Something     11
On-the-Job Training     46
Joe Wilson     63
Power Phones     69
Lily     78
Good Neighbors     83
Friends in High Places     90
Anniversary     93
Jurisdiction     97
My Marsha     101
Kristen     105
Coppers     108
Hostages     117
Smucked     124
On the Night Shift     126
That Loving Feeling     136
Just Too Silly     143
Changes     148
Words     152
On Burnout     156
The Parenting Option     165
On Wannabes     173
DOA     179
The Job     181
Retirement     186
Wherever You Go     190
Full Circle     195
Acknowledgements     205
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2006

    if you liked 'A Million Little Pieces' you will love this book....

    It contains about the same amount of factual information. The true story here is one of sour grapes and the author not finding her place in this field either. True: It takes a tough-skinned person with alot of common sense and quick thinking to do this job. False: Dispatchers are a pack of uncaring wolves. They take on this HUGE responsibility because they want to help people. The pen is a powerful tool for revenge and it's sad the author uses it that way. Signed, A 911 Dispatcher at the depicted center

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2006

    An honest view from the other side of the phone

    This book is honest, raw, touching, sarcastic and full of the stories the public never gets to hear. Caroline does a fantastic job showing us the less-than glamourous life our emergency responders deal with. This is a quick read, and one you won't want to put down. Life in the hot seat will entertain any reader that appreciates gut wrenching honesty and an eloquence unexpected from the girl next door.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 25, 2014

    This book was not what I expected. I thought it would be filled

    This book was not what I expected. I thought it would be filled with amusing antidotes of being a 911 Operator but instead it is the true story of a woman who became a 911 Operator and her journey there. One of the interesting things is that she is from my home town of Minneapolis/St Paul MN which brought it all home for me. It was very interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I found this book to be very interesting and pretty funny at tim

    I found this book to be very interesting and pretty funny at times.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Easy read

    This book has a lot of not-so-good reviews, and I have to say that I am surprised. This book is a lot of what I was expecting - a memoir with a little bit of 911 call center drama mixed in. While it did get repetitive at times, it was certainly interesting to see how one woman rose above her past and has kept at her pursuit of happiness - one of these pursuits being a job at a 911 call center. The calls she describes were interesting and I found the progression of her skin getting thicker very intriguing - as someone who works in a field where a think skin is necessary, I saw where she was coming from. It was an easy read, a bit confusing in a couple of places where I had to re-read to understand what person was talking to the other, but overall an enjoyable 2-day read. I would recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    Loved this book!

    I love reading about all kinds of medical drama..and found this book hard to put down! I never realized that being a 911 dispatch operator could be so stressful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2008

    Good Read

    I finished this book within 2 days. I could definately relate to this book! Definately gives you the details of being a dispatcher and the goofy calls you get...good read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2008

    The life of a dispatcher couldn't be described any better

    This book was amazing. I marvelled at how similar we (dispatchers) all are. It was like reading a book about my own Comm Center. I suggested to all my co-workers, especially the new hires, to read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    I'd like to recommend this book to anyone in the field or anyone with a relative that is a dispatcher/911 operator. For those of use whose job this describes it's a humorous story and nice to know we're not alone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2006

    This book is the way of life for 911 Dispatchers

    I just read this book and it was like I was reading about myself. If you want to know what it takes to be a 911 Dispatcher then you need to read this book. All about the ups and downs of the worlds second most stressfull job. You will enjoy it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)