December 12, 2008
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.
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A Tragic Outcome
Edward and Ada lost their loved one, Olidia, to a murder-suicide in a police station parking lot 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.
Betrayed By the System?
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 â€¦ but police were never dispatched.
Picking Up the Pieces
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?
As many as 25 percent of calls coming into 911 call centers are for non-emergencies. Even worse, many of them are prank calls.