I remember getting the call like it was yesterday. I was finishing up my day at my new office, also known as my kitchen table, when I got the message that I was being called upon as a Disaster Service Worker (DSW). I had no time to mentally prepare for what I was about to get myself into because my first day of deployment was at 8:30 the next morning at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Waking up the next morning was like getting ready for your first day of school. I had been sheltered-in-place for nearly a month and this was one of the first times adventuring out into the “new” world. Arriving to my assignment at the EOC was similar to that of an actual first day of school. I was accidentally given the wrong address and ended up at Moscone West. I must have looked a little lost as a kind worker approached me and asked where I was headed. I said I was looking for the EOC and he directed me across the street, to Moscone South.
After getting situated and taking a walk around the EOC, I was amazed to see how many people were there working towards one common goal. Baby blue, red, brown, and many other colored vests distinguished which section you were assigned to work in. I donned the baby blue vest, meaning I was working in the Joint Information Center (JIC). The JIC section objective is to provide the public with relevant and up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
While working in the JIC, I helped manage the social media account of the Department of Emergency Management. From the Public Library to the Port to SFMTA and every department in between, I was fortunate to work with so many amazing people. People that I might not have had the chance to meet if it weren’t for a global pandemic.
Some memorable tasks I was assigned to while at the EOC was creating a spotlight series for National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, highlighting the amazing work that the 911 dispatchers do every day for our City. I also had the chance to share the stories of the many DSW’s at the EOC that are working hard to help keep San Francisco healthy and safe. It was a humbling experience being able to see what everyone does in the EOC and I truly have a deep sense of gratitude to all my fellow DSW’s.
I recommend to anyone who is healthy, to help our community in any way you can. This is one of the rare opportunities that we get to work with people from other City departments. Although I’m playing my small part at the EOC, I feel proud going into work every day knowing that I’m doing my part to help during the coronavirus pandemic. If I can help just one person, I know I’ve done my job and I know that I’ve done my service to the City the best way I can.