Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Long Should It Take to Respond to a 911 Call?

Should it take an hour? Emergency call response under investigation - Police supervisors are trying to determine why a 911 dispatcher didn't do more with the first call

A 911 call came in, about the only thing that could be heard was a "pop" that could have been a gunshot. A call-back was "busy." A second return call was answered by an answering machine. It went into a class 4 dispatch - 20 minutes.

It actually took a 2nd call, and more than an hour for cops to show up at the scene of a murder suicide.
Police Chief Tom Bergamine says the 911 call center is a busy place, but he hopes to find out why that call was handled the way it was.

"Absolutely, we're very busy," Bergamine said. "Last year we did well over 215,000 calls per year. We're projected to probably do at least 230,000 to 240,000 this year."
I believe they are busy. I believe that they are probably trying to do more with less. I would guess he will see his budget cut at least a little.

I also believe that calling 911 is fine thing, but if that call is interrupted because I am engaged in a struggle, I don't think a 20 minute dispatch is OK.

I believe that I don't want to bet my life on a system of over-worked, possibly under-paid government functionaries who usually face no negative consequences if they screw up.

Calling 911 is a fine thing. I have no intention of betting my life on it.

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