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Topic : 12/12 911 Nightmares!

Number of Replies: 130
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Created on : Friday, December 05, 2008, 12:52:11 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Imagine that you’ve fallen, had a terrible accident or been abducted, and your only lifeline is 911. What happens if you call and can’t get the help you need or emergency personnel are sent to the wrong address? America's 911 system handles nearly 240 million calls per year, and the growing number of dispatch disasters can be a matter of life or death. Edward and Ada know about this pain firsthand. They lost their loved one, Olidia, to a murder-suicide in the parking lot of a police station after what they say was a botched 911 call. Edward says his mom’s death could have been prevented, and Ada believes the operator was rude to her sister in the final moments before her murder. Joining Dr. Phil to discuss the tragedy are Charlie Cullen from the National Emergency Number Association and Caroline Burau, a 911 dispatcher and author of Life in the Hot Seat. Find out the most important piece of information you need to know when calling for help. Then, Nathan’s wife, Denise Amber Lee, was abducted, and a series of 911 calls -- even one placed by Denise herself -- failed to save the young mom’s life. Jane, a witness to Denise’s abduction, was on the line with 911 for more than nine minutes … but police were never dispatched. Now Nathan says he's angry with the system and has trouble explaining Denise’s death to their two young sons. What can the grieving father do to move past the pain? And, learn what constitutes a genuine emergency, and what to teach your kids about dialing those three important numbers. Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 24, 2008, 1:32 am CST

12/12 911 Nightmares!

Quote From: trigreen

These stories are nothing less that horrific including the ones posted on this message board.  

I don't blame the dispatchers because many of them are probably undertrained, understaffed, and work shifts that are too long (such as 12 hours) for this type of demanding job.   I don't know what they are paid but I am guessing that is not great either.  

BUT I KNOW THIS: IF OUR GOVERNMENT AS 700 BILLION DOLLARS TO GIVE TO THE CORPORATE THIEVES ON WALL STREET AND YET EVEN MORE MONEY FOR THE CORPORATE THIEVES IN MICHIGAN.   THEN THEY HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HAVE A PROPER 911 SYSTEM.   THIS GOVERNMENT IS STEALING FROM US AND STEALING OUR VERY SAFETY TO GIVE TO THE ULTRA RICH SO THEY CAN THROW PARTIES AND BUY CORPORATE JETS.  

We need to demand better from our government and we need to vote the party out of office.   We need to boycott bailed out corporations in protest.   We need to talk about this in public and let our voices me heard!
Cool, don't blame the dispatchers...they're too stupid to know any better?  Is that what I am hearing you say?   It is usually at the county government level.  Educate yourself
 
December 24, 2008, 6:27 am CST

Dear Tambrum62

no words

 

simply no words that you'd understand

 

It's Christmas. I hope you and your family have a blessed one.

 
December 29, 2008, 12:38 pm CST

A Break Please

You know what sucks about all the 911 stories is that, only the amazing stories or the horrible worst case scenario stories ever get publicity!  I am not trying to make excuses for 911, however the job is so much in the public eye and regular citizens have no idea what really goes on in the 911 center and what the dispatchers deal with.  We can go from giving CPR to getting called every name in the book to the nice elderly couple that needs directions and then back to a robbery or shooting.  We take so many calls and go through so many different stressful situations and are expected to be perfect at every call.  We are people and therefore make mistakes.  I don't think anyone out there can say they have never made a mistake at their job.  For 911 dispatchers you have to constantly be on your toes, you may do a perfect job for 3 years straight but that one call you make a bad decision or god forbid the fact that it is a highly stressful situation and you mess it up.  There goes your job and everyone who has never dispatched and had time to listen to the call under non stressful conditions over and over has an opinion.  Seriously folks give 911 a break, it is a tuff demanding job and really if we were not there who the heck would you call or what really could you do? 

 
December 30, 2008, 3:50 pm CST

Police Didn't Come To Help Me Either

I heard these stories and thought that it was so horrific and it brought up a similar experience I had about nine to ten years ago.  I debated whether to tell my story but decided to go ahead anyway.

In high school, I had a boyfriend that was eight years older than me who had been physically and sexually abusing me.  I had honestly believed he could have killed me that night.  One night after he had done this, I had the courage to lock him out of his apartment and call the police.  The 911 operator said that she would send somebody and then hung up on me; but then the police never showed.  I had been abused and called for help but then nobody came to help me.  So after nobody came, the only way I could leave was to let him back in. 

I understand that 911 operators may be put in stressful situations.  But there is a problem when stories like these are told.  There should be national standards for all 911 call centers and everybody (including operators) should be supportive of appropriate training for this job.  Police, fireman, nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, they all get training; why shouldn't the people who take these life-saving calls be trained too?
 
December 31, 2008, 11:22 am CST

with all due respect

Quote From: rsizemore08

I heard these stories and thought that it was so horrific and it brought up a similar experience I had about nine to ten years ago.  I debated whether to tell my story but decided to go ahead anyway.

In high school, I had a boyfriend that was eight years older than me who had been physically and sexually abusing me.  I had honestly believed he could have killed me that night.  One night after he had done this, I had the courage to lock him out of his apartment and call the police.  The 911 operator said that she would send somebody and then hung up on me; but then the police never showed.  I had been abused and called for help but then nobody came to help me.  So after nobody came, the only way I could leave was to let him back in. 

I understand that 911 operators may be put in stressful situations.  But there is a problem when stories like these are told.  There should be national standards for all 911 call centers and everybody (including operators) should be supportive of appropriate training for this job.  Police, fireman, nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, they all get training; why shouldn't the people who take these life-saving calls be trained too?

I'm sure there's more to this story. 911 dispatchers get training.  I'm not quite sure what you do for a living but I'm pretty sure it's not mistake free.  Therefore, maybe , just maybe this was the one time out of 10 years this dispatcher did a poor job.  Hopefully nothing like this ever happens to you again!

 
December 31, 2008, 12:15 pm CST

12/12 911 Nightmares!

Police, fireman, nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, they all get training; why shouldn't the people who take these life-saving calls be trained too?

 

They are trained but according to the poster before you, they don't need to be held accountable if they make a mistake and a loss of life occurs.

 

The argument the person was making that "we all make mistakes" in our jobs just doesn't hold up. Yes, we all make mistakes but those mistakes don't usually result in loss of life. If we just chalk it up to "human error" and don't make efforts to improve the system, we will not succeed as a society.

 

Maybe my son and Dr Phil and others are going about our efforts to help improve the 9-1-1 system the wrong way. I don't know. It's a shame so many who we are only trying to help are so offended. People who have been offended keep stating "we never see positive 9-1-1 stories" and that's simply untrue. There are a couple of 9-1-1 TV shows. I hear and read about 9-1-1 operators helping give birth.

 

But those positive stories are not going to bring about much needed funding and improvements.

 

And it's sad when a loss of life occurs and someone can just fluff it off as "we all make mistakes". What if it were their family member? And in Denise's case, it wasn't just one person making a mistake, it was several. It was a major procedural breakdown.

 

So, yes, they are trained. But apparently they don't need to be held accountable because they are not trained with the same standards as doctors, nurses, EMTs etc....... I wish they were.

 

You'd think they'd wish they were too.

 
December 31, 2008, 12:49 pm CST

A video

 

Maybe if I put a face on it, you'll see who was lost that night. 3 people messed up. Not just one. The call taker. And 2 dispatchers.

 

This is who was lost:

 

http://videos.lifetributes.com/MediaViewer/MovieViewer.aspx?id=13785

 

Her own father, who has worked for this sheriff's department for 25 years, admits that they messed up bad. He spoke before the House of Representatives of Florida to get the Denise Amber Lee Act passed.

 

 

 
January 10, 2009, 1:56 pm CST

What about the perps??

I've been in EMS and Public safety for over 11 years.  I was a 911 operator for 4 of those and this show made me cranky!  I felt that Dr. Phil was extremely opinionated about the 911 operators.  The operator for the first story was dead on.  When you get a call from a screaming caller, your focus is not on being kind and friendly, your focus is getting the caller help.  The operator did exactly what she should've done.  Without exact information about location...CURRENT location, there was no where to send the police.  As for sending the police outside of the station, it is the obligation of the peace officers to keep themselves safe, too.  So they needed some sort of information about which way they were coming so that 10 people aren't killed.  Phil, before you rattle off about how poorly the operator did their job, why don't you put yourself in that seat!  And additionally, why are the operators at fault here?  What about the guy who shot her? 

 

As for the woman in car (Denise), it would've gone in as a suspicious incident...the incident would've been prioritized that way...after domestic violences in progress, after assaults in progress, after in progress violent acts...while it is sad that this woman died, there wasn't any information indicating that this was a priority.  And again...what about the perp?  Why are the people who get to go home every night knowing that someone died on their watch, knowing that they couldn't save this person, or couldn't get to that person getting to OWN a perpetrators choices?  The operator did not kidnap her!  The operator didn't intentionaly ignore the call!  GET A GRIP!  And let's do the system some justice and point the blame at those who deserve it! 

 

I'm furious and absolutely DISGUSTED!  If it's the operators fault that these people died, then it's Dr. Phil's fault anytime someone makes a poor choice from one of his shows.  STUPID and disgraceful!

 
January 18, 2009, 9:55 pm CST

Ignorance

Quote From: uncommonsense0

The whole 911 CONCEPT was well meaning but it does NOT work.

It is FAR to easily overloaded in regional emergencies due to being swamped by cell calls and not having

enough phone lines to handle the traffic.

Calling a LOCAL fire or police department is by far the BEST choice but in many areas these dispatchers that KNEW your name and KNEW where you live and your circumstances are being ELIMINATED nation wide!

I NEVER advise anyone I CARE about to call 911!

I tell them to get the number of your LOCAL dispatcher or fir station .

Get the number of your local ambulance service and keep IT handy!

My own NEIGHBOR died as a DIRECT result of 911 sending help to the WRONG address!!!!!

This would NEVER have happened if the LOCAL dispatcher was called because she knew EVERYBODY in town and KNEW where they lived!!!

911 is an all your eggs in one basket approach that gets people killed!!

And most 911 centers are using computer based equipment that can EASILY crash taking out the ENTIRE 911 center and they don't have anywhere NEAR enough phone circuits to handle a REAL emergency!!!

 

You obviously have no idea that what you are suggesting actually will (in most cases) cause a delay in help being dispatched to you. In almost all locations in America, if you dial the local number to the police department, fire station, or EMS station, and give a person THERE the information, they will then have to call their dispatch center and relay the information again before help is dispatched. Also, in many areas, the departments are not manned 24/7, and their phone lines roll over to 911 dispatch anyway.Calling 911 is the fastest, most effective way to summon help when needed. Do not group all dispatchers into a bad basket because you've had one bad experience. I have been a 911 Dispatcher for 12 years, and yes, ocassionally mistakes happen...but not like you are suggesting they do.  And most of the "local dispatchers" you refer to now work in the 911 centers that serve the larger areas.

Please, use common sense and do not listen to this person's advise. He is more apt to cause you to lose your life than a 911 dispatcher.
 
May 3, 2009, 9:29 pm CDT

Just seen this show aired in oz last week

This show aired here in Australia just last week (yes we know we're a bit behind lol) and while I thought it great to bring this to peoples attention I think there should have been something during the show stating that 911 is the US emergency services number and to call the number applicable to your country.

Why? Because many US shows are aired worldwide people outside the US will call 911 in an emergency and people have died due to this.

For example, the Australian emergency services number is 000 YET numerous reports have come through that someone has died because 911 was called instead of 000.
 
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