What If You Dialed 911 and No One Answered?

This is happening in Cincinnati, and in other places. 911 Outages Imperil Public Safety in Cincinnati and Elsewhere

According to an internal city document obtained by NBC News, there have been 10 911 outages since June of 2016. The latest one, just this summer, lasted three hours and 30 minutes.

Usually when I write about the problems with calling 911, the delays are in the minutes, not hours. 3 hours (or more) is a very long time when bad things are happening. It could literally be a lifetime.

The powers that be in Cincinnati trot out the standard (though at this point very lame) excuse that it is all the fault of cellphones.

“These 911 systems have been designed and built for landlines,” said Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black. “Now we’ve got the proliferation of cellphones.”

While the modern cellphone can be dated to 1983, they really didn’t show up everywhere until 1991 when generation 2 technology became available and sparked competition.

1991 was more than 25 years ago, and they are still blaming the cellphone for their incompetence. Sorry, but I don’t buy it.

Since they know that no one is going to buy that excuse, Harry Black tees up standard excuse number 2, “It’s not my fault.”

Black blames most of the trouble on a private company called Comtech that runs Cincinnati’s 911 system. “We’ve got a service provider at that level who’s not been as reliable and dependable as we’ve needed them to be,” Black said.

But that contract – if it was written by anyone who has ever seen any contract ever – would have performance clauses and what would happen if a given level of performance is not met. Like penalties and withheld fees all the way up to contract termination. Which is apparently the stage they’ve reached, because Cincinnati is taking over its own 911. (What could go wrong by putting the .gov in charge?)

And of course Cincinnati is not the only .gov entity that signed up with Comtech, and they are not the only folks having problems with them.

In Connecticut, officials replaced Comtech’s system with a new company after a three-hour 911 outage hit 52 call-taking sites. And in South Dakota this year, officials temporarily suspended payments to Comtech, saying the company was “slow to fix several recurring problems found within the system.

So how did Comtech get to be so big in the 911 “industry” if they have so many problems? They didn’t answer questions for the linked article, so who knows.

The final “suggestion” is to program your local police/fire numbers into your phone in case 911 isn’t working. Works only as long as you never leave home. 911 was introduced so that if I am visiting you and you have a heart attack, I don’t have to search around for the number for paramedics. That is not as fast as me just being able to call 911 wherever I go. “In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there’s a difference.”

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do in an emergency. It can send police, and fire, and emergency medical personnel to help with whatever you are facing. If what you are facing is a violent encounter, you may not be able to call 911 before bad things happen, but in any event, if the ONLY thing you are prepared to do is call 911, then you might have a problem, when that system breaks down.


Hafdís Huld

Another artist from Iceland, Hafdís Huld has a voice that I really like, even though I don’t like all of the music she sings. (After the break is a song that showcases that voice!) Her music is more in the modern folk style, relying on voices and guitars (mostly). (Quite different from Björk.)

This is “Wolf” from her 2014 Home.

She has a new album that came out the end of July, so we might be hearing more from Hafdís Huld in future Musical Interludes.

This is Hafdís Huld and Alisdair Wright with a cover of “Creep,” originally by Radiohead.

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Good Guys 2, Bad Guys 0

If you break into homes, you will eventually run into an armed homeowner. Man killed, teen injured in South County double shooting were bu – KMOV.com

The Brady Bunch (or whatever they are calling themselves today) will call this “a teen tragically shot,” because the fact that he was engaging in a home invasion burglary is beside the point. Don’t clutter the issue with facts!

So a 19-year-old and 14-year-old decide to rob a house, and run right into an armed homeowner. The 19-year-old (The Brady Bunch would call him a “teen” if they thought they could get away with it) was killed. The 14-year-old is in the hospital and is expected to survive.

Self-defense is a human-right.

If You Break Into Homes, You Will Eventually Find an Armed Homeowner

If it weren’t for bad luck, these guys would have none at all. Police: Home invasion robbery suspect shot in Bridgeport

Police say two suspects entered a home at 903 Kossuth St. around 5 p.m. with the intention of robbing someone.

The homeowner shot one of the suspects, who was wearing a mask, according to authorities. They say the two suspects then fled in a pickup truck that police pulled over at Barnum and Central avenues.

A “tactical narcotics team” was in the area and was able to arrest these 2. Well, one was arrested, and the other sent to a local hospital.

One Gunshot to the Head is Enough

If you break into homes, you will eventually find an armed homeowner. 18-year-old in critical condition after being shot by Arkansas homeowner, police say

Pine Bluff police officers were called to a home in the 1500 block of West 29th Street around 5:15 a.m., spokesman Lt. David De Foor said. They found an 18-year-old man shot once in the head, he said.

Initial findings indicate that the homeowner shot someone trying to gain entry into his home. The investigation continues, though the homeowner was not arrested.

The guy who got shot was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

Self-defense is a human-right.

Circle K Doesn’t Want Employees to Defend Themselves – Suspends Them If They Do

I know which convenience store chain I won’t be visiting in the near future. Circle K suspends clerk after she shoots robber | Albuquerque Journal

I guess they would prefer that their employees are shot rather than defend themselves.

Circle K clerk Jennifer Wertz who shot an armed robber Monday afternoon told KOAT-TV that management has suspended her for two weeks following the incident.

She said robberies happen all the time and yet workers are told they can’t defend themselves.

I suppose they would rather rely on cooperation with criminals to keep people safe. Not that it works all that well.

The story from Monday can be found at this link.

Deaths in College Football in 2017

Robert Grays and Clayton Geib both died as a result (apparently) of games played this past Saturday. Tyler Heintz died in June due to heat stroke. Saturday was one of the deadliest for college football in decades – CBSSports.com

Robert Grays died Tuesday after suffering a neck injury in Saturday’s game between Midwestern State (Grays’ team) and Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Clayton Geib died on Monday after suffering cramping and hyperventilating after Saturday’s game between College of Wooster (Geib’s team) and Ohio Wesleyan. I don’t believe a cause of death has been announced.

Tyler Heintz of Kent State died on June 13, after the second day of conditioning drills in summer practice. The coroner ruled death as a result of extertional heat stroke.

Two more off-season deaths are mentioned, but I can’t find any detail on them right now (and I don’t have the time to search… If anyone knows please post in the comments.)