What if You Got Shot, and It Took 25 Minutes for a Response?

This sounds like an ambulance/EMT issue, but it is really a cop issue. If there is a violent crime – this case was a gunshot wound – the EMTs won’t show up if the cops don’t show up. And the cops did not show up. Police response to shooting under review | WSB-TV

Why don’t they come?

“It’s a gunshot wound,” the dispatcher said. “Someone could be around that has a gun.”

Bystanders eventually took the injured guy to a nearby hospital.

The police response:

“The delay between the original call and arrival of units was inconsistent with our normal standard of response,” Capt. Mike Lindstrom wrote. “At the time of the call, there were no available patrol units in the area. Most were engaged in a foot pursuit with a wanted felon. A faster response time would have resulted if the district supervisor had pulled officers from the chase to the shooting scene. In this case, a judgment call resulted in the delay in response.” [my emphasis – Zendo Deb.]

So your life may depend on the judgement of some bureaucrat who won’t be held responsible if the situation ends badly for you (or whoever got shot.)

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but sometimes you will wait. So you should be prepared to take other actions. (Like defend yourself, or carry a first-aid kit in your vehicle.)

“But what happens when you call and no one shows up?”

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, if you can call before bad things happen. But it isn’t a magic spell; it is a strategy for dealing with crime. SPECIAL REPORT: Emergency response times in EP are twice national average. Not every strategy will work in every situation.

About 67 percent of the time, the police department’s response time for priority 1, 2 and 3 calls is within 21 minutes. According to the the American Police Beat, a law enforcement publication, the national average response time for a priority 1 call is 10 minutes.

The culprit? The cops want more money for more cops and more cars. I won’t say they are wrong – El Paso apparently has an historically-low number of officers and vehicles. But the fact that beauracracies always want more people and money (and power) is a factor leading to a bit of skepticism. But that isn’t the subject of this post.

You can’t always call 911 BEFORE something bad happens. But if you do, you still may have a few minutes on your hands before the cavalry comes riding over the hill. On average you will wait 10 minutes in America. In some places you may wait a LOT longer. In El Paso you might wait 20 minutes. A lot of bad things can happen in 5 minutes, forget about 20 minutes.

So you might want to come up with some strategies for what to do during those minutes. Or what you will do if you can’t call 911 before the bad things happen.

11 Minutes Is Still a Long Time to Wait

New Orleans PD is congratulating themselves on reducing 911 response time by 40 percent. NOPD: call response faster, wait times down

A little more than a year ago, in October of 2015, response time averaged 20 minutes. Today, average response time to a 911 call is 11 minutes. And that is better than 20, no doubt.

But a lot of bad things can happen in 11 minutes. And of course that supposes that you can call 911 BEFORE the bad things happen. Which does happen sometimes, but not all the time.

And they don’t provide any real statistics. Like standard deviation on wait times, is “average” mean or median wait times, or anything else that would really help with understanding what the hell is going on in New Orleans.

Way back in 2015, when the response time was 20 minutes, the cops were blaming the then-new deal with the Feds over police practices. NOPD is one of many police departments, that the DOJ and the FBI have been involved with.

And of course, the Chief of the Department, wants more money for more officers. (Has there ever been a bureaucrat in the history of bureaucracies that has offered to give up resources?)

Calling 911 is fine thing to do. They can send help in any number of forms from cops to medical support. But they won’t arrive instantly, even if really bad things are about to happen. That isn’t a knock on the first responders, it just of fact of life. So what will you do while you are waiting? If bad things look like they are about to happen what would you do for those 11 minutes? (There is a similar set of questions about what you would do after bad things happen, that focus on things like CPR and First Aid.)

48 Minutes to Respond to a 911 Call About Someone Trying to Break Into a Home

What if you called 911 and no one came? Or they didn’t arrive for a very long time? Tick-tock: How long is too long to wait for police? | WKYC.com

Multiple calls to 911 by numerous people kept getting the same response. “Cops are on the way.” But of course they weren’t.

At 29 minutes since the first call, another neighbor called 911.

And he didn’t mince words.

“Do you guys actually ever send somebody?” Terry Bazeley [a neighbor] asked the operator. “Why aren’t they sending somebody?”

Operator: “Ah, they’ve been dispatched.”

“It’s five minutes from headquarters, so 25 minutes later somebody should have been here,” Bazeley implored.

At 48 minutes after the first 911 call, an officer called dispatch to see if they were still waiting, and he went to the neighborhood.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but what if the result isn’t quite what you expect? Then what will you do?

The residents of the home this guy was trying to break into, were armed. If he hadn’t been so drunk/drugged/whatever and had gotten in, he would probably be dead. As it is, when cops FINALLY arrived they arrested him for drunk and disorderly.

Calling 911 is fine thing to do, but I think you should have more strategy than just, “Call 911.”

Average Wait Time for Police After Calling 911 in New Orleans: 1 hour.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but even in those (rare) instances when you can call 911 BEFORE bad things happen, you may be waiting a while of police. In New Orleans… you will wait a while. New Orleanians on average wait over 1 hour for police to arrive | NOLA.com

Residents who called NOPD through September of this year had to wait an average 73 minutes for police to dispatch an officer their way. That’s nearly four times as long as it took in 2011, when the average dispatch time was 15 minutes, according to an analysis of NOPD calls for service by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and WVUE Fox 8 News.

The reason? Manpower shortages.

73 minutes is a long time. 15 minutes can be a long time if something bad is happening.

The other reason – dare I say excuse? – is the federal consent decree that New Orleans PD must now operate under. You see NOPD had a fairly colorful history that included some fairly rank practices. So of course if you want good policing you now have to wait for it.

90 Minute Response Time to 911 Call

Just call 911 and everything will be OK. As long as you can wait. Why Don’t Dayton Police Always Show Up Quickly? WYSO Curious Investigates | WYSO

This guy didn’t get to call 911 before bad things happened. He called 911 after the assault. He called back – after 15 minutes – to say he needed medical attention. It took 90 minutes for someone to get to him.

“In certain jurisdictions,” Haines says, “there are times that…the number of calls for service are more than the number of available crews to respond to those incidents.”

And Dayton is frequently the system that’s the most overwhelmed, he says. “Dayton is the busiest area that we dispatch for.”

On average, Dayton police respond to high-priority calls in 5 minutes or so. On Average. You might wait less time. You might wait a long time. Depending on the situation, you might wait the rest of your life.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, and as in this case, after the bad things are over, that is pretty much all there is to do. But assuming that 911 will ride to your rescue – even assuming you can call BEFORE bad things happen – is perhaps not the wisest position.

I Think the Lesson May Be That You Shouldn’t Call 911 in Georgia

The recent case of where cops went to the wrong house and did bad things to the homeowner is not the first time something like this happened. Wrong-house shooting: Not the first time a 911 call puts homeowner in peril | www.ajc.com

Of the Georgians fatally shot by police since 2010, more than a third were killed at home, according to an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.

One guy called 911. He got shot. One guy went to the door with a video game controller in his hand. He was killed. Cops entered the house of a mentally unstable woman without a warrant and killed her.

DeKalb seems to be where several of these have happened. Never fear. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is launching an independent investigation. Cops are still investigating cops. I wonder if they are all in the same union.