Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trust Your Life to 911, If You Like

Fulton County 911 system report warned of 'serious deficiencies' | ajc.com How long should it take 911 responders to reach you? If they are sent to the wrong city, it might take a while.
Darlene Dukes died Aug. 2 from a blood clot in her lungs after waiting more than an hour for an ambulance. Dukes, a 39-year-old mother of two who worked for Verizon in Alpharetta, was to be buried Saturday in New York.

Fulton County operator Gina Conteh, a 12-year veteran of the Fulton 911 call center, was fired after officials discovered she sent an ambulance to Wells Street in southwest Atlanta instead of Wales Drive in Johns Creek. [my emphasis. Z-Deb]
Now this was a 911 ambulance call. Do you think 911 would have gotten it right if it was a "Help! There is a rapist in my apartment," call, or other police emergency? The same 911 dispatch center handles both kinds of calls.

Or what would happen if the 911 call center didn't pass along the fact that home invasion was in process? Do you think the police could arrive in time to save you? LancasterOnline.com: 911 call scrutinized
The call-taker reported to the dispatcher that there was an "unknown disturbance" at the home but failed to repeat the neighbor's frantic plea that an intruder had assaulted the Haineses.

Two responding police officers, in separate cruisers, rushed to the scene, but not with the urgency required for a home-invasion call, officials said.
But not to worry, the authorities report that the family would have died even if the 911 call was handled correctly. The police would have been unable to do anything to save these people. And that would have been the case even if the 911 system worked flawlessly. "When seconds count, police are minutes away."

The Left loves to say that we should just call 911 and not rely on ourselves, but that didn't work out too well for some people. The 911 call center has to take you seriously. (A home invasion is not an "unknown disturbance.") They have to send the responders to you at the right address. In the first story, a son called 911 twice for his elderly mother.
Both times, Wilson said, they gave the address as Providence Road. Both times ambulances went to New Providence Road.
Because they know your address better than you do.

You trust your safety to a bunch of overworked, underfunded, government functionaries who mostly can't lose their jobs, if you want to. (I expect the unions to object to anyone being fired for a "simple mistake.") I know basic first aid, carry a fairly complete first aid kit with me most places, and am prepared to defend myself to the limit allowed by law. You call dial-a-prayer; just don't insist I make the same bet you do.

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