Thursday, April 20, 2006

On Call with Avengence
fixin' to tell

Some might say a week of being on-call is the toture test for the occupation of TV Photojournalist but I say it is the occupation.

I live for being on call. I am permanantly on call for the desk to call me on spot news events near me and I also rotate through the official weekly call out list for something anywhere in the market.

I keep the scanners turned on and up so I can get a quick jump on anything that happens.

New Truck (4)

The weekly on-call rotation is a week filled with uncertainty, shared by a couple of photogs, not knowing whether the next after hours phone call will be an invite to cover someone else's shift or cover breaking news 4 counties removed.

Sometimes an on-call week is non-stop, 24 hour affair. Other times you won't get a single call out all week long. I like chasing spot news. I like get out and do great stories and some of the best stories come at the spur of the moment between the late of night and the early of morning.

Last week was my turn and it was almost a slow week. I already had early shoots scheduled early in the week and by Wednesday night I thought I might get through the week without a callout. By Thursday morning the on-call gods sensed my awarness.


Thursday morning at 7-30 the sun was starting to peek over the horizon when the phone rang with the voice of Lesa on the other end. I took her instructions to head to Reidsville for an apparant home invasion.

As noted in previous postings the home invasion turned into a murder by grandson.

It was a long day with liveshots at noon, 5 and 6. All in all about a 10 hour deal.

So that night back at home I stayed up a little later than usual thinking there was no way I would get called out 2 days in a row. Boy was I wrong. I hit the hay at about 2 am thinking I would squeeze in an easy 6 hours, but after about 2 and a half hours of ZZZZs the phone broke the silence is really just me snoring.

Our overnight EP gave me the details of a Lexington Police officer that was involved in a car crash. I found out that he was hit by a vehicle when I pulled up onto the scene. I talked to the Chief who was on his way to check on the officer at the hospital and I followed to the hospital.

To get the early morning details on the air I was asked to do a Live Phoner where the anchors would introduce the story and I would fill in with whatever fact's I had gathered.

I set the scene for the audience and answered Brad and Shannon's questions, but I made a little southern boy faux pas in the process.

Brad's final question was about the status of the closed exit ramp where the accident happened.

My answer.....

"When I left the scene the tow trucks were leaving and the cops were fixin' to open of the lane."

I heard myself start to say it and I just couldn't stop. What can I say. I grew up in Wayne County!

But otherwise it went allright. The bosses loved it. The Chief of Police said he saw it when I went to interview him just after it.

I picked up a reporter at the begining of the day shift and we went back to Lexington and turned stories for noon, 5 and 6 about the drunk driver that rear ended a car that the cop was standing in front of. The cop was OK, just bruised up.

It was a nice 12 hour day!

And I didn't get called over the weekend.

That's what you get when you're on call.

I can't wait to be on call again! (as long as it's after the Vegas trip!)

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