By CSLEA/CHP-PSDA Member Dedra Martin, CHP Public Safety Dispatcher, Los Angeles Communications Center
I have been employed with CHP for 18 years. I am a positive 52-year-old who has faith and will NEVER give up hope.
I was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma and stage 3 invasive triple negative breast cancer three days before my 50th birthday. My family had planned a 50th surprise birthday celebration and I didn't want to bring their spirits down so I lived with this horrible diagnosis by myself for three long, torturous days. This showed me the beginning of my strength.
For the last year and a-half, I have had a lumpectomy, double mastectomy, chemotherapy, hysterectomy, and implant surgeries. All while trying to maintain working. I'm still receiving chemotherapy and working through this treatment due to having the cancer gene. It's a mental battle daily, but I refuse to be a victim of my circumstances.
Through this journey, I am currently training a new public safety dispatcher because I choose to help mold quality dispatchers for the department and I choose to be strong.
What I would say to my peers: Never give up so easily and stay level headed no matter what.
DURING NATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY TELECOMMUNICATORS WEEK, CSLEA IS SHINING THE SPOTLIGHT ON ITS PUBLIC SAFETY DISPATCHERS AND COMMUNICATIONS OPERATORS! THESE BEHIND-THE-SCENES FIRST RESPONDERS HAVE A VITAL ROLE IN PUBLIC SAFETY.