Meet Renee, winner of the first responder smile makeover giveaway! By Alicia Green on November 03, 2020

We received so many wonderful notimations for our First Responder Smile Makeover Giveaway. It was very difficult to pick a winner. However, we narrowed it down and are pleased to congratulate our female winner, Renee Dubbeld, on winning a brand new smile! 

Below is Renee's nomination story. Her lovely childern also send in nominations for her. 

"My name is Renee Dubbeld, I'm a 38 year old mother of 3 teenagers. Born and raised in Salt Lake County, I now reside in Ogden, UT. This is my first responder submission story. 

I received my Basic EMT certification in March of 2010. I began working as a Med-Tech for a residential treatment center with troubled youth. I had a rough childhood and experienced a lot of things a child should never experience, so I figured if I can help just one child through my experience, then it wasn't in vain. 

I decided to continue my training and in 2012 I received my Advanced EMT Certification. I continued working with youth until 2015 when I had an opportunity to work as a Med-Tech for Utah Department of Corrections at the Draper Prison. Again, digging into childhood trauma, my Mother spent time incarcerated, and I though, what a unique perspective, to be able to help those who made poor choices and will continue to be judged the rest of their lives and who may not otherwise receive fair treatment and medical care. It turned out, while I honestly loved working there, I needed a different atmosphere. Working at the prison was not only an amazing learning experience, I also met the future love of my life.... NO he wasn't an inmate haha, he worked as the locksmith and we're still madly in love to this day. So with my family complete, I moved on to my next adventure. Many don't think of or consider a 911 dispatcher a true first responder, when in reality, we are the FIRST first responders. I began working as a 911 calltaker in Salt Lake County and I found my calling. Having been on both sides of an emergency call, there are definitely pros and cons to both. Because I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a few other health conditions, I was still able to render aid to my community, just from a phone and a ton of computer systems. 

I helped police and paramedics get to an old woman who was suffering a heart attack and not able to articulate her location. Through listening to background noise and searching for history from her phone number, I was able to have the responders on scene hollering and knocking on doors until I could hear them on my side. Hearing an officer introduce himself while making entry into an apartment, pick up the phone and tell me "we got her", is a feeling you can never explain! Hearing a baby cry for the first time is another joyful sound that never gets old! But then there's the calls that haunt you. The screaming mother after her child is hit by a car, the scared child who's parents are fighting in the background, and walking a frantic family member through a crash course of CPR to save their loved one. Those are all calls that are hard to sit with and most of the time, we never get the end result. No closure, just a ding in your ear and the next call comes in. You move on, otherwise the job will swallow you whole... which brings us to the call that would be my demise. 

October 2017, 15 minutes before the end of my shift and a 911 call drops in my ear. A frantic woman screaming "he's dead", through hysterical crying I manage to get the address, then I start working on getting more information while responders are speeding to her location. "He shot himself" "are you coming?" "Why are you asking so many questions, just get here". I calmly go through my interrogation to ensure scene safety, but also want to make sure the patient is beyond life saving measures.... that's when she tells me,  "It's Cameron"...

Having grown up in Salt Lake County, it's expected that I may receive a call regarding someone I know, and it has happened. My step mom was in a fender bender, I got that call, my old roommate called in a noise complaint for his neighbors, we laughed about that one because 15 years earlier, that had been us! But this call, this was different.....

"This is VECC right?, it's Cameron, he works there". Silence...... my vision blurred a little and my heart sunk into my gut like I had been blasted in the chest. Cameron, not just my coworker, my friend who I sat joking with the day before as he showed me pictures of his new born daughter. I mute the phone, stand up and motion for my supervisor while giving her the call number so she can read the notes. I unmute my phone and continue the call, I had a job to do first. I was able to calm her down enough to give me the rest of the information we needed. My supervisor appeared over my shoulder as silent tears started to fall down my cheek, she asked if I needed her to take the call, I wiped my tears, cleared my throat and shook my head, "no I got it". It felt like the call lasted forever! As Police and responders arrived, she thanked me and then asked "what am I going to tell his mom?" I reassured her that there would be officers there who will help her with all of that and we disconnected. 

I threw my headset and lost it. It wasn't until after the first wave hit me and I stood up that I realized how solemnly quiet the dispatch floor was. The rest of the day was a blur. I couldn't go home until we did a critical incident debriefing and met with the Chaplin. 

I'm sharing this story with you specifically for a few reasons. One, our 911 dispatchers are the unseen heroes and while we're not on scene, many times, people survive because of the instructions we provide until help arrives. The second reason, After this call, my mental health deteriorated. The call center went on as normal. I didn't realize the impact it had on me until it was too late. I lost my job, my car, my home, everything. I have spent the last two years rebuilding my life and getting the therapy I should have received a lot sooner. I've come so far and I would love nothing more than to get back into that seat and start taking 911 calls again. I was good at my job! And now I'm better equipped to take care of myself as well as my community! Sadly, the stress of everything combined with existing health issues, has taken its toll on me, especially my mouth & teeth! Now that I'm healing and I WANT to smile, I still can't. I've gone to job interviews, but my mouth says something completely different from who I am and I'm so insecure because of it. My weight has increased dramatically because it hurts to eat normal foods. Getting a new mouth would change my life in so many great ways! But more than anything, even if I have to cover it with a mask for a while, my one wish is to smile again. A true, Nae Nae smile! 

I know this giveaway is for our first responders, I was that first responder and I would like to be again someday if given the opportunity, so I hope you will consider this submission even though my certifications have expired. I gave my all in each capacity I worked and the volunteer hours I put in and it would mean the world to win!"

We are so excited to give Renee a brand new permanent set of teeth! Check back for updates as we start this life changing journey.

We'd like to thank Neodent, Denture Solutions, and Desert Media for their participation and sponsorship.

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