Never Underestimate the Power of Human Stupidity

Your missing a meeting is NOT a freaking emergency. Woman calls 911 for ’emergency ride service’ after taxi fails to show. And while this is Toronto, do you think it is any better in New York?

She was told to call another cab.

While most people would chuckle and simply shake their heads, police say these types of calls tie up valuable resources and actually increases the risk of public safety.

“It delays the response time for police, firefighters, paramedics to attend actual emergencies,” adds Const. Sarah Patten.

Const. Akhil Mooken says police received more than 180,000 improper calls from the start of January to the end of October this year.

Those 180,000 calls have to be answered by people who should be dealing with violent crimes, fires or medical emergencies.

The quote that forms the title to this post is from the novel Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1973.

The Way 911 Is Supposed to Work

But seldom does. Armed robbery suspects in custody minutes after stickup.

Two masked miscreants enter a store and point guns at the clerk behind the register. A second clerk hid, and dialed 911. Cops converged on the area.

[Thomasville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division commander, Lt. Toby] Knifer said that as the trooper approached the men, they ran through the soccer field. Lindquist entered from the other side of the field on Ben Grace Drive.

“The trooper was pushing suspects straight to him (Lindquist),” Knifer said.

The suspects reached Lindquist’s location, were ordered to the ground and held at gunpoint.

Handguns and money were recovered from the men. Knifer said police believe they also recovered the money taken from the store.

The men were in custody at 7:47, less than five minutes after the 911 call.

They were tied to a similar robbery in a neighboring jurisdiction, and are facing charges for that as well.

Calling 911 rarely works out this well, or at least when it does, it doesn’t end up in the news. So hats off to Thomasville, Georgia police department, for being on top of their game, and for getting 2 miscreants, who might have probably would have killed someone soon enough, off the street.

In Any Other Part of Texas, Someone Probably Would Shoot This Guy

But this was deep blue Austin. South Austin neighborhood concerned with APD response time to machete wielding man attempting to break into homes. Oh, and also, don’t have an emergency at shift-change.

So a guy is trying to break into homes, and someone calls 911. 23 minutes later, cops arrive. The good, apparently unarmed, citizens of Austin are upset to discover that when seconds count, cops are minutes away.

As for the shift-change…

“He told me that I called at shift change and it would’ve taken longer to dispatch someone from a different area,” the neighbor said. “I wish that they had just responded quicker.”

You know that shift-change excuse might have made sense in 1930, when the best way to communicate was face-to-face, but cops need to figure out how to get any announcements made via technology, and stagger start times, so that there is always some minimum level of coverage.

Call 911, Get a Runaround

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, if it happens to be supported where you live. It apparently isn’t everywhere. Aleknagik break-in puts lack of local law enforcement in spotlight.

A woman notices a man “climbing a ladder” toward her kitchen window. She bangs on the window to let him know the house is occupied and calls 911.

But when Moore got through to the operator, she was told the Dillingham police department couldn’t dispatch officers to the lake.

“I was given the trooper number, so I called the trooper and those calls at night are dispatched out to a different community,” Moore said. “So he then tried to get ahold of the on-call trooper in Dillingham who was unfortunately out of town, and he was in King Salmon.”

As Moore juggled calls between the troopers and people who lived close by, she stood at the top of her stairs, pointing a gun down the steps. At one point, she heard glass shattering and started yelling again.

This is Alaska, and on a website that says “Rural Alaska.” But I think you would want to know if 911 is available in your area, and not just assume.

“And that’s a frustrating feeling because we’re raised to call 911,” she said.

Gee, a government program that doesn’t work quite as well as advertised. Color me shocked.

Even in a city, in the lower 48, the cops are not going to arrive instantly. You might still find yourself pointing a gun down the stairs, or wishing you could.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but you should know if it is going to work before an emergency presents itself. And even if it is available in your area, doesn’t mean that people won’t make mistakes, that other emergencies might come ahead of you, or just good-ole lack-of-resources to get to you. At least get to you in a reasonable time.

Ransomware vs 911 Call Center – Nobody Wins

Hard to quantify the cost of an outage when it can cost lives. Ransomware attack may be affecting 911, emergency dispatch in Jasper Co.

Earlier this week it was confirmed Jasper County had a cyber attack on their countywide systems, including email and emergency response systems.

At that time, county officials said 911 and emergency dispatch services were not having any issues as a result of the cyberware attack. Now, that may not be the case.

Color me shocked. A politician isn’t telling the truth. OR, a politician who doesn’t actually know what is going on.

A system that was formerly automatic (in terms of locating addresses) is now reverted to manual. Causing delays.

First responders say every second the county or city response teams are not responding to a call, someone’s life could be put at risk.

“To do that by hand, to take that extra time it could cost someone their life.”

At least the system wasn’t knocked out completely, as it was in other areas. Still, it might be good to have a plan B. Like know some first aid, or have the local police and fire numbers in your phone.

What If You Dialed 911 and Couldn’t Get Through?

You can also file this under, “No one does proper systems design anymore.” UPDATE: Miscommunication is to blame for the 5 hour outage in NC Friday morning.

Redundancy? That’s expensive. Besides, the network is ALWAYS there. Until it isn’t.

So they needed to relocate fiber optic cables because a bridge is being built. So far so good. These kinds of things happen. Which means, the people who build critical infrastructure need to be aware of single points of failure. Of course the people doing the moving of communications infrastructure should figure out if it is CRITICAL to public safety before the pull the plug. But all that documentation is hard to go thru, and how critical can it be, anyway? Oh, it is just the ability of a big part of North Carolina to reach 911. What could go wrong?

911 services in six North Carolina counties and the Cherokee Tribal reservation have been restored after a five-hour outage.

I hope no one had a heart attack, or had to deal with an attacker overnight.

Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but you should be aware that the system isn’t perfect. You should have a plan B.

30 Minute Delay After 911 Call

What happens when you underpay your 911 call-center staff, and have the resulting turnover”? Resolve delays with dispatch system quickly.

When you call 911 in an emergency, you expect that help is coming with lights and sirens as fast as possible. If there is a 30 minute wait inserted into the system, you might want to plan something aside from just calling 911. Because after that 30 minutes, it still took some minutes for cops to drive to the location in question.

the dispatcher took 30 minutes to contact Natchez Police about the suspected abduction case.

The 911 management?

Emergency management officials said the dispatcher was new to the job and made an error.

Yeah, that makes it all OK. At least in this case, it turned out to be a false alarm. (Due to a language barrier.) What about next time?

When Seconds Count, Paramedics Are Only Minutes Away

New Jersey is taking an interesting step. WHEN EVERY SECOND COUNTS: Volunteers Get Emergency Care Training.

Since paramedics can’t be everywhere, and it will take them time to reach people in an emergency, they are deploying volunteers with training and the correct tools. In this case, that is a defibrillator, oxygen, and a “comprehensive” first aid kit.

I wonder if New Jersey will make the same connection about “When seconds count…” and police. Probably not. This is New Jersey, after all. Well, a small section of New Jersey, anyway.

So is this the medical militia?

When Police Interfere in a Medical Emergency

Because they want to interrogate a woman having a seizure. On the ground and suffering a seizure, a Palo Alto woman pleaded to be taken to the hospital. But police kept paramedics from helping her for 14 long minutes.

Hey, if you can’t answer their questions, you are either drunk or disrespecting their authority.

In a cascading series of mistakes and violations of city of Palo Alto policies, it took more than 40 minutes to get a Palo Alto resident to the hospital

The city is stonewalling, because lawsuits are in the offing. If she’d been having a stroke, she’d be dead, or have permanent brain damage. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Once the officer decided that it was OK to allow medical attention an illegal search was undertaken. Rights? We don’t need no stinkin’ rights!

And in case your geography is lacking, Palo Alto is smack in the middle of Silicon Valley, about half way between San Jose and San Francisco. It is one of the most expensive places to live in one of the most expensive areas of the country. I couldn’t have afforded to live there 35 years ago. (You are not protected by you zip code. Not even from insanity.)

Politicians Acting Against a Whistle-blower, and Being Generally Corrupt?

JusticeThat would never happen. Would it? Judge: Cincinnati police captain’s federal lawsuit can proceed against city, police chief.

If you follow news about the sorry state of 911 centers around the country, the way I do, you will eventually see some jurisdiction somewhere congratulating themselves on being ready to handle these newfangled cellular telephones. Because even though they collect taxes or fees on every cellphone bill specifically to support 911 services, there was no provision in the law to say that those taxes had to be spent on 911 services. So, in large part, for generations, they weren’t.

Butler claims in his original lawsuit, filed in September 2017, he was retaliated against after he raised questions about how the city spent its 911 fees and grant dollars while he was overseeing the Emergency Communications Center from Jan. 3, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2017.

That’s when he says he was moved and stripped of his managerial duties with virtually no notice.

And it seems that the fix was in, and not just on 911 fees. A friend of the mayor had a company that was basically skimming 15 percent of all city purchases. (Hey, it was service fee. Or something.)

Grab some popcorn. This should be an interesting bit of depositions and discovery. Because even though I believe that the fix is in, I’m not sure that the politicians in Cincinnati can twist a federal judge’s arm. In Chicago, I would believe that City Hall had that kind of power, but I just don’t see that Cincinnati is that organized.

An Hour Wait for Police After Attack

And the bad guys came back during that hour. ‘This is terrible right where I live’ Portsmouth veteran concerned about safety, police response time after attack.

They saw a man being attacked.

“I jumped out to try and help the guy, grabbed him and put him in the back of my truck,” the man said. “He couldn’t hardly walk at all.”

The man didn’t want to be identified, but he says he called 911 and waited with the victim so he wouldn’t be in the street alone. Before police responded, the same group of men came back.

Eight calls to 911 and an hour later, cops finally show up. During those eight calls, he asked 911 “where do I go?” They said, “We can’t give you any info about that.” So they were COMPLETELY useless. Worse than useless, because the Left and their insistence on “just call 911” has convinced everyone that they don’t need concealed carry. Oh and he tried to flag down 2 cop cars that drove by, but they just kept going.

Cops won’t arrive immediately, but an hour wait for a situation like this seems extreme. Calling 911 is a fine thing to do, but it may not turn out the way you expect. So you should plan what you are going to do besides call 911.

3/4 of Calls to 911 Are in Error

At least in Orangeville, Ontario. Oops is no excuse: You’d be surprised how many 911 calls Dufferin OPP receives in error or by accident.

Nearly three-quarters of the time 911 has been dialed in its jurisdiction this year, Dufferin OPP has responded to learn that the call was made in error or by accident.

From January to Aug. 31, Dufferin OPP Const. Shannon Gordanier reports that officers have responded to a total of 413 calls made to 911 — of those calls, police report 307, or 75 per cent, were made in error.

Those 75 percent of calls need to be investigated. Which means those services aren’t available for real emergencies.

An Hour Wait for an Ambulance After 911 Call

I usually write about 911 response time and police, but this hits the topic of “socialized medicine.” EMS staffing emergency results in response time delays.

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So this is from Eastern Kentucky, but once you get away from major metro areas, the same conditions apply in a lot of the country. Long waits for ambulance services in response to a 911 call.

One aspect many may not realize, is the reimbursements ambulance services receive.

“Oftentimes, your 911 provider, and it doesn’t matter if it’s our company or if it’s the company in the next county over, we operate at a loss. It’s because of some of our Medicaid reimbursements,” said Absher.

After the cost of medical supplies, trucks, and other important items, outweigh the profit of a call.

So the .gov doesn’t pay the cost of an ambulance ride, and then people are surprised that there aren’t 100s of companies lining up to be put out of business by the .gov. Only someone in government could set up a payment system designed like this. Someone with no contact with the real world.

“Medicare for all” would sink every one of the ambulance services that try to cover medicare patients with the profit from other patients. Unintended consequences? At some point you have to believe that the idiots in government (while clearly idiotic) are not that completely stupid. They want something to fail, so there’s an excuse to take more control.

They Blame Technology When It’s Really Management

What happens when you micromanage people to the nth degree? Minneapolis drops controversial 911 answering software.

They quit.

Management of Minneapolis’s 911 call center spent $730,000 dollars on a system, and training, to take all humanity out of the 911 call center.

ProQA prompts dispatchers to ask specific questions, in a specific order, based on different emergency situations.

Which might be fine if it worked OK.

Sampson-Spande said her two decades of experience often told her to ask different questions, in a different order, than what the software was giving her. And, she worried not following the program would have eventually led to losing her job.

“I felt like I was deciding, do I want to keep my job and be compliant?, Or, do I want to help somebody?, And I don’t feel like I should be in that position,” she said

So she quit. And she wasn’t alone. Turnover has become an issue because who wants to work under those conditions?

And the cops didn’t like it either, but for the simple reason that they were not getting the information they required.

Bob Kroll with the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis said the union also has concerns about ProQA. Kroll said he’s most alarmed by officers arriving at scenes without knowing suspect descriptions because dispatchers haven’t gotten to those questions yet in the line of questioning.

Because why should the management of the 911 center talk to cops about what questions need to be asked in what order? That’s just CRAZY talk. The manager of the 911 center (bet’s on if they were brought in to “fix” something?) knows best. No one else gets any input whatsoever.

They blame technology up one side and down the other, but it is management who bought that software, spent money on training, and held on for two years while things went downhill. (Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.) They do mention an “interim manager” for the 911 center, so maybe they canned whoever had this brainchild.

When you call 911 you are interacting with a system of people and software, radios, computers, etc. Sometimes that system will work well. But when the management sets things up so that people don’t want to (or are unable) to do the job, then things might not work out for you. This could be because the software is awful, the people are untrained, whatever. In this case, the software was clearly awful, and high turnover meant that the people were not experienced. And Minneapolis didn’t meet 911 national standards for answering calls.

Never Underestimate the Power of Human Stupidity

What is so hard about understanding when you should, and when you shouldn’t, call 911? 911 misuse rate hits 23% in Peel Region.

On Tuesday, police received a 911 call about a water leak from a resident’s refrigerator who expected the police to help with the cleaning up.

If 23 percent of calls to 911 are of insanity like this, then they have to pay more people, and they are slower dealing with real emergencies.

Do people really think the cops are going to deal with a plumbing issue?

“While we understand that a water leak from your refrigerator is concerning and annoying, it’s definitely not a call for 9-1-1 and no we won’t come and clean it up,” Peel police tweeted. “Instead, shut off the water and call a plumber.”

It isn’t hard. Crime. Fire. Medical emergency. For these things for which you call 911. Plumbing. Problems with your fast food orders. Not so much.

90 Minute Wait for 911 “Unacceptable”

They will try to get better. At least no one died. Communication breakdown caused ‘unacceptable’ delay: Edmonton police.

A woman who waited more than an hour for emergency responders after she was assaulted and found outside covered in blood will be getting an apology, Edmonton police said.

Supt. Darrin Balanik said in a statement Friday that there was a breakdown in communication with police and ambulance staff, resulting in an “unacceptable delay.”

So medical has to wait for cops at a crime scene, but no one seems to know how to talk to the cops when the issue comes up. Good systems design.

The original story on this incident is at this link.

90 Minute Wait After Calling 911

Paramedics won’t show up to crime scene without cops. Because safety. ‘She had blood all over her’: Edmonton man says 911 response took 90 minutes.

John Saunders was on his way to the gym at Londonderry Mall early Wednesday morning when he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby walkway, where he found a woman on the ground, covered in blood.

He called 911, and waited. Called 911 two more times. And still waited. 90 minutes later, support arrived.

While talking to 911 dispatch, he was told the fire department was waiting on police, and safety trumped emergency.

“I said, ‘What about my safety?’ And [the 911 operator] said, ‘Well, you don’t have to be there; there’s no obligation for you to be there.”

Calling 911 is fine thing to do, but the results won’t always be what you expect.

If You Call 911 By Accident…

Stay on the line and tell them what happened. 30% of Eaton County 911 calls are accidental and wasting resources.

“Don’t hang up, stay on the line,” said Stahelin. “These calls happen all the time. We’re not offended, we’re not upset, and no one’s going to be in trouble. Just stay on the line and explain that it was an accident. If you hang up, then we’re forced to follow our procedure, and potentially you could have a few officers showing up at your door.”

A hangup has to be treated like a possible hostage situation.

Calling 911 is now as easy as hitting a button on your phone, or tapping the side of your smartwatch. This simple access to 911 is meant to get you help in an emergency quickly. But it’s slowing things down for emergency workers. Emergency dispatch lines are clogged up with hundreds of accidental calls every day.

You can turn those features off. (When did calling a 3-digit number become such a problem?)

If 30 percent of their calls are bogus, you can see how that might impact their ability to actually handle an emergency.

Stahelin says Eaton County 911 gets around 13,000 unintentional calls a year, and that his estimate of 30% is very comparable with other dispatch centers around the country.

When You Call 911 You Expect the System to Work for You

The trouble is, that system is mostly people, and the procedures are designed by people. And people screw up. Audit shows structure, training problems with York County 911 center.

A detailed review of York County’s 911 center by an independent auditor shows that “the current organizational structure is not suitable for an operation of this complexity.”

Micromanagement. Improper training. Disorganized procedures. And more.

York County has had “publicized and longstanding challenges with its 911 center, contributing to public safety concerns among the emergency services community,” the release said.

So if your only plan in an emergency – of whatever kind – is to call 911, you might want to do a bit of work on that plan.

Is There Cell Coverage Where You Are Going for Vacation?

People from cities assume that everything is just like it is at their home. Good cellular coverage. Fast internet. Whatever. Then they go “to the country” for vacation. One person has used ‘text 911’ in Boise County. Could that change with more cell service?.

If you have no cellular service, you can’t call 911 in an emergency.

Take Boise County, for example. The county is nearly 2,000 square miles in size, and home to fewer than 10,000 people. But thousands of others visit the county every day to recreate on the rivers, mountains, lakes, trails, or open land.

“We are less populated, but we have anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 people a day in the county recreating here or traveling through,” said Boise County sheriff Jim Kaczmarek.

Cell coverage is limited. If you get into trouble in an area, someone may need to drive quite a distance to get enough service to call 911. Texting is a bit more robust, but can still be limited in places.

So your assumption, day in and day out is, if I get into trouble, I just pull out my cellphone and call 911. But are you sure you will be able to do that?