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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 6, 2008, 2:10 pm CST

Don't use a cell phone

  I have been a 9-1-1 call-taker/dispatcher in 3 localities between 1986 and 2003.  Enhanced 911 was a wonderful invention (approximately 1985).  It routed each 911 call thru a central data base and made the exact  location of the caller available on the call-taker's screen.  This system is so good, I once saw a "location" from a caller in a rooming house: "Third floor, last room on the left."

   Unfortunately the GPS chips in cell phones aren't perfect, and are not likely to ever be.  Far too many people have given up their land lines (wall phones), and are relying entirely on their cell phone service for all calls.  This is a mistake.  If the batteries in your cell phone haven't been charged lately, your call might not get through to the dispatcher.  The GPS chip on your cell phone can, at best, give your location to within 100 yards.  That's not good enough!  Especially if you are in a multiple family dwelling.  When you call 911 from a land line, the dispatcher knows your exact location.  If you are unable to speak, an officer  will be dispatched immediately in most localities. 

   Don't call 911 on a cell phone unless you have no choice.  Don't give up your land line.  It might save your life some day or the life of a family member. 
 
December 6, 2008, 4:49 pm CST

911 what's wrong

My problem with all the bad reports about 911 could be stopped by sending some one as soon as you get the address, because most often time is of the essence.  Charging 100 bucks if it is a false alarm would certainly put a stop to it.  I know they can tell who is calling, because my incoming phone calls show up on my TV. So 911 should have the same ability to know who called, or at least whose phone called. The operator should be a well trained communicator. There may be the rub. Very little training because we are probably paying very little for the operator. It is easy to complain, but we should train ourselves in how we should give emergency reports.  I will bet all my former speech students can pass that test.  I really feel we should not complain if we don't have a solution in mind. Thanks for letting me vent.
 
December 6, 2008, 5:05 pm CST

Doctor Phil Show.

Doctor Mare Night Nine Oone One Phil/Robin, A Nine One One call is a what?  I already know about Nine--

One-One call anyway. Any Nine One One will get you a Fire or Police call anyway. See you on Friday Dece-

ember 12th, 2008, Sincerley Your. Russell Vlaanderen.--------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 
December 7, 2008, 7:57 am CST

911 nithmares

I have  seen this happen.  One station  gor a call for a man having a heart attack, but the dispatch sent the wrong station to the wrong address.  When they got straighten out and the right station went to the right addres, it ws already too late.  He was dead at the scence.  That county does not ask you to verify the address(it does now).  Where I live the have you verify the address.  In both counties some street names are the same.  Though it might be annoying to give the address because it's enhanced 911(the addess and number pop up) but that annoyance could save somebody's life.
 
December 7, 2008, 8:08 am CST

Cell Phones for 911

Quote From: castle41

  I have been a 9-1-1 call-taker/dispatcher in 3 localities between 1986 and 2003.  Enhanced 911 was a wonderful invention (approximately 1985).  It routed each 911 call thru a central data base and made the exact  location of the caller available on the call-taker's screen.  This system is so good, I once saw a "location" from a caller in a rooming house: "Third floor, last room on the left."

   Unfortunately the GPS chips in cell phones aren't perfect, and are not likely to ever be.  Far too many people have given up their land lines (wall phones), and are relying entirely on their cell phone service for all calls.  This is a mistake.  If the batteries in your cell phone haven't been charged lately, your call might not get through to the dispatcher.  The GPS chip on your cell phone can, at best, give your location to within 100 yards.  That's not good enough!  Especially if you are in a multiple family dwelling.  When you call 911 from a land line, the dispatcher knows your exact location.  If you are unable to speak, an officer  will be dispatched immediately in most localities. 

   Don't call 911 on a cell phone unless you have no choice.  Don't give up your land line.  It might save your life some day or the life of a family member. 
I have called 911 on my cell phones a few times.  Two when I was in a car accident(land lines are not that good) and a couple for some friends.  I have had to use it when I needed help at home.  I have no choic but to use a cell phone.  I do not have a land line and want the medics to come to the right apartment.   My phone a couple of years ago must have had a GPS because I was confused about where I was.  I got the steet names flipped and the dispatcer evidently go  a ping because the medics, fire, and polich all came to ther right side of  the street at a gas station where I had almost wrapped my car around the telaphone pole.  I never drove without a cell phone.  Two times it came in handy.
 
December 7, 2008, 1:12 pm CST

Bless you!!

Quote From: castle41

  I have been a 9-1-1 call-taker/dispatcher in 3 localities between 1986 and 2003.  Enhanced 911 was a wonderful invention (approximately 1985).  It routed each 911 call thru a central data base and made the exact  location of the caller available on the call-taker's screen.  This system is so good, I once saw a "location" from a caller in a rooming house: "Third floor, last room on the left."

   Unfortunately the GPS chips in cell phones aren't perfect, and are not likely to ever be.  Far too many people have given up their land lines (wall phones), and are relying entirely on their cell phone service for all calls.  This is a mistake.  If the batteries in your cell phone haven't been charged lately, your call might not get through to the dispatcher.  The GPS chip on your cell phone can, at best, give your location to within 100 yards.  That's not good enough!  Especially if you are in a multiple family dwelling.  When you call 911 from a land line, the dispatcher knows your exact location.  If you are unable to speak, an officer  will be dispatched immediately in most localities. 

   Don't call 911 on a cell phone unless you have no choice.  Don't give up your land line.  It might save your life some day or the life of a family member. 
God bless you for doing that job for so long!  I'm sure you have helped save many lives over the years.   I agree that the land lines are essential.  Not only is it tough to pinpoint a cell phone location, but I've noticed that senior citizens often have a hard time using cells.  Cell phones are getting tinier and the buttons are frequently too small to read.  My elderly neighbor lady had a cell phone for emergencies, but in a crisis couldn't remember that she needed to press "talk" after pushing the phone numbers.  She'd had a stroke and laid on the kitchen floor (with the cell phone in her hand) until another neighbor (a nurse who checks up on our elderly neighbor) found her hours later that day.

Our 9-1-1 system isn't perfect.  Cell phone coverage and usage are very flawed too.  Plus, there is always going to be some human error - everybody makes mistakes.  But our 9-1-1 system is the best in the world.  I look forward to this show, as I'm hoping to see how we might make it even better.
 
December 7, 2008, 7:58 pm CST

911 Nightmares

On March 25, 2005 my 76 year old mother suffered a heart attack while she was unloading the dishwasher in the kitchen.  My father was at her side within seconds and called 911 from their land line.  Although there is an EMS station less than a mile from their home, help was dispatched from another location.  It took 10 minutes for the first responders to arrive.  When they did, they did not have a defibrillator on their truck.  When the EMS crew from 10 miles away arrived ,19 minutes after the call was made, my mother had passed on.  What my parents and I didn't know was that the EMS station less than a mile from their home serviced an adjacent, neighboring county.  I was told by the EMS director that the two counties do not share radio frequencies. (Their home was located just across the county line.) My mother's sudden death has had a tremendous impact on me.  I felt for a long time that her life could have been saved had she gotten the immediate response and medical attention both she and my father expected to receive that day.  I have had to accept that it was God's will for her to join him.  I am so grateful that my father did not suffer a life-threatening medical event while he waited 10 long minutes for help to arrive.
 
December 8, 2008, 8:13 am CST

Nothing's perfect...better training would help

Quote From: bobbinrobbin

God bless you for doing that job for so long!  I'm sure you have helped save many lives over the years.   I agree that the land lines are essential.  Not only is it tough to pinpoint a cell phone location, but I've noticed that senior citizens often have a hard time using cells.  Cell phones are getting tinier and the buttons are frequently too small to read.  My elderly neighbor lady had a cell phone for emergencies, but in a crisis couldn't remember that she needed to press "talk" after pushing the phone numbers.  She'd had a stroke and laid on the kitchen floor (with the cell phone in her hand) until another neighbor (a nurse who checks up on our elderly neighbor) found her hours later that day.

Our 9-1-1 system isn't perfect.  Cell phone coverage and usage are very flawed too.  Plus, there is always going to be some human error - everybody makes mistakes.  But our 9-1-1 system is the best in the world.  I look forward to this show, as I'm hoping to see how we might make it even better.

Our 9-1-1 system isn't perfect.  Cell phone coverage and usage are very flawed too.  Plus, there is always going to be some human error - everybody makes mistakes.  But our 9-1-1 system is the best in the world.  I look forward to this show, as I'm hoping to see how we might make it even better

 

I agree!  Better pay for, and training of, 9-1-1 responders, and informing folks about correct procedures would help. On another cell phone versus land line angle no one thinks about, when people cancel their land line and keep only a cell phone, often they fail to inform folks who may need to know that, and the cell phone number for emergency contact.  I am on the Board of a condominium in Florida, and we have a difficult time when older folks fall ill or have a serious emergency and  their grown kids, who are the medical surrogates and decision makers, have switched to cell phone only numbers, not listed, and don't notify the Condo Board!!  This delays emergency assistance and critical decision making regarding their family member if something happens to them...it would help a lot if Dr. Phil could mention this, maybe it would wake some of them up to emergency needs.

 

 
December 9, 2008, 7:26 am CST

Terrible Ordeal

I went to church with Nathan growing up and to High School with Nathan and Denise, although I didn't know her...She was a freshman my senior year, and Nathan was a grade behind me. Nathan even played a trumpet solo at my wedding. I hadn't heard from Nathan in several years when this happened, but I instantly felt sick. I kept seeing his face and his smile when he was younger. He is such a kind and genuine person, and I throught the whole thing I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

 

 When she was missing, I just kept thinking about how I would feel if I were in her shoes and it terrified me. I have three little boys, and I am a stay at home mom, my youngest son is a month older than hers, and I just kept thinking about how I would feel if someone took me and left my babies alone and unsupervised. My mother told me Denise was still breastfeeding when he took her, and everytime I nursed my son I wept...it was all i could think about. From what I've heard of Denise, even though she was scared she was probably thinking and worrying more about the other people in her life than she was about herself.

 

What gets me know when I think about the whole ordeal, is how unneccessary it all was. Denise did everything in her power to save herself, Nathan did the right thing, Denises father did everything he could, numerous people called in tips, and it was all in vain. My main hope is that this whole situation will be a catalyst for change in the 911 system. God Bless the 911 operators and all that they do, and God Bless the Lee and Goff families, especially Adam & Noah.

                                                                                 ~ Susannah

 
December 9, 2008, 8:02 pm CST

My house was broken into with me in it

I lived through the mistake of 911, when our house was being broken into with me upstairs.  I called 911 before they entered the house and told 911 multiple times that there was only one way into our development.  I gave the 911 operator the main street the police needed to be on and which street to turn on, but the police went to a completely different neighborhood.  By the time these men started upstairs, I had to pull a gun on them.  They left once they realized I was there and going to shoot them.  I called my husband on the cell phone, while on the house phone with the 911.  My husband who works a decent distance from the house made it home before the police did!

 

Then I found out that after I was broken into, they hit another house on the way out of the neighborhood.  Once the police reached our house, he said, I was right here, but thought you were on the other side of the of town.  Then to add insult to the entire situation, the police asked me what I had in our house that someone would want to take.  We have a nice house with the usual goodies that people steal for drug money.  I'm not sure if I'm more angry with the police or with 911.

 
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