Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Long Should You Wait After Calling 911?

Should you wait more than an hour? 911 Response Time Called into Question
She told FOX 5 she woke up at 5:49 a.m. to find her home trashed and burglarized, and she called 911—but help didn't arrive until 7:09 a.m.
There could have been someone in the home still. They could have been coming back.

The call was held. No reason given. An excuse - they are not standing behind it - is that a shift-change was going on. (OK mister home invader, hold on a minute, day shift will start in 10 minutes.)

A car was dispatched at 6:54, more than an hour after the initial call.

They are "reviewing protocol" and checking systems and doing the basic bureaucratic CYA dance.

In the understatement of the year...
Captain Starks says there appears to have been a breakdown in communication.
Gee, ya think?

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do in an emergency. They can dispatch fire trucks, and SWAT teams. They can also leave you on your own for an hour or more. You should have some plan of what you are going to do in those minutes between the call and the response. Use a fire extinguisher. Exit the building. Fort up in the bedroom. Whatever makes sense.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. I don't think you can assume that it will solve all of your problems in a timely fashion. I think you have to assume you will be on your own for at least a short while.

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