Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > Chatter > General Discussion


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-09-2006, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
...is a comical chap
 
Grasshopper Green's Avatar
 
Location: Where morons reign supreme
Boy calls 911, is scolded, mother dies

http://www.cnn.com

I can't post a direct link because it's a video feed and there isn't one, but it's in the video clip section underneath the main stories.

Basically, a young boy called 911 and the dispatcher accused him of playing on the phone and threatened to send the police over to his house to get him in trouble. The boy's mother was passed out and ended up dying. The police chief said that an investigation would be conducted, and if reason was found for disciplinary action, then action would be taken.

I don't know how often 911 is pranked, but I am appalled by the dispatcher's response to this. I was under the impression that all calls are supposed to be taken seriously. I think the woman that took the call should be fired immediately; the evidence is already there in her response to the boy. What do you think? Should she be fired immediately or after investigation? Perhaps I'm not seeing all the sides to this, but in my opinion, investigation shouldn't be necessary.
__________________
"They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings; steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king"

Formerly Medusa
Grasshopper Green is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 03:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
Kick Ass Kunoichi
 
snowy's Avatar
 
Location: Oregon
While the circumstances are definitely against the 911 operator, everyone deserves due process.
__________________
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
snowy is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
Observant Ruminant
 
Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
That's not professional. I know we have a 911 professional somewhere among the members who can probably do better, but I have had an all-day orientation in how a 911 call center works (they were recruiting). I am pretty sure that she was violating all sorts of protocols.

Basically when a call is made, you don't consider it finished until you are _absolutely_ sure there is no problem according to standard procedures. For example, if you call 911 around here and then hang up, they'll ring you back. And if you don't answer, they'll send the cops.

The 911 profession actually has a variety of standard scripts that operators are supposed to use in emergency situations; if somebody calls and declares an emergency, you pull out the appropriate script, which is actually a tree of questions, possible responses, and follow-up questions and directions. The center I interviewed with bought their scripts from a third-party expert/consultant who guaranteed that his scripted responses were bullet-proof and lawsuit-proof in any situation. And if you were sued for negligence, he'd bring his team and testify for you in court -- as long as you followed the script precisely. They _never_ had any problem.

Either this woman was 'way off script, or pooly trained, or that outfit just doesn't have any scripts or hard and fast standards. She should be suspended immediately, of course, but the agency involved is probably afraid to come down heavy on her in public lest they be sued. And they should be sued, and probably will be sued.

So my answer is, she should be suspended, and the investigation should extend far beyond her to the entire organization and its practices.
Rodney is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 03:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Moderator Emeritus
Location: Chicago
Here's some stories on it

Fieger: Woman would have lived had 911 operator listened to boy; lawsuit coming
Quote:
April 9, 2006
By BEN SCHMITT

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Southfield Attorney Geoffrey Fieger told a national audience Sunday morning that he believes a 46-year-old woman would have lived had a 911 emergency dispatcher taken a call for help from a 5-year-old Detroit boy seriously.

Fieger appeared on the Today Show holding hands with Robert Turner, now 6, as Robert recounted the Feb. 20 incident in which he twice called 911 as his mother, Sherrill Turner, lay dying from complications of an enlarged heart in their west side Detroit apartment.

A recording of the calls, which family members gave the Free Press on Friday, revealed that the boy's pleas for help weren't taken seriously. The Today Show also played both calls Sunday morning.

"In general, this indicates an endemic problem," Fieger said. "There's a discounting of children. Robert did exactly what he was taught to do and if we're concerned in the United States about the welfare of children, as I know we all are, we better be concerned when they call to ask for help, as much as anybody else."

Robert, clad in a shirt and tie and seated in between Fieger and his older sister, Delaina Patterson, explained that his mother taught him to call 911 in case of an emergency.

Of the operator who took at least one of calls, he said: "She thought I was playing on the phone."

Detroit Police are investigating the incident.

Fieger is scheduled to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Monday, at his law office at 19390 W. Ten Mile Road, Southfield, to announce the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of hte family
The choice of the lawyer is disturbing to me--I've never quite gotten warm fuzzy feelings out of Fieger...
__________________
Free your heart from hatred. Free your mind from worries. Live simply. Give more. Expect less.
maleficent is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
Junkie
 
I think she should be charged with a crime associated with the boy's mother's death. Job termination is a given.
__________________
Desperation is no excuse for lowering one's standards.
Jimellow is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 05:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
Extreme moderation
 
Toaster126's Avatar
 
Location: Kansas City, yo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimellow
I think she should be charged with a crime associated with the boy's mother's death. Job termination is a given.
That is a really, really, bad idea. Slippery slope and all that.
__________________
"The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me." (Ayn Rand)
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." (M. Scott Peck)

Last edited by Toaster126; 04-09-2006 at 05:46 PM..
Toaster126 is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 05:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
Go Cardinals
 
soccerchamp76's Avatar
 
Location: St. Louis/Cincinnati
The best thing to do, in my opinion, in a 911 call believed to be a prank is to follow through as if it was a real call. Send the police, ambulance, fire department, etc. over to the house. If it is a prank phone call, you charge the prankster with appropriate punishment. If it turns out it wasn't a prank call, the person is saved.

This is all in hindsight, however, but you would think in an emergency situation, you would always play it safe and, if only thinking of yourself, send the emergency team to cover your ass.
__________________
Brian Griffin: Ah, if my memory serves me, this is the physics department.
Chris Griffin: That would explain all the gravity.
soccerchamp76 is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 07:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Location: Richardson, TX
I'm not sure about other parts of the country, but based on personal experience, if a 911 call is made, a police officer has to be sent to the residence. My ex accidentally dialed 911 on my phone, and hung up, so they rang us back - we told them it was simply a misdial, and they said that it was policy to send a police officer out to the house, and he showed up about 10 minutes later.

Dispatcher should have sent a cop out to inform the parents that their kid is fucking around on the phone, anyway.
__________________
Vote Quimby!
pavel_lishin is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
<3 TFP
 
xepherys's Avatar
 
Location: 17TLH2445607250
I heard about this tonight from my mom who still lives near Detroit. From what I understand, the woman has been on the job for a decade or more. What pavel said is true and, as far as I know, federally mandated. I think the woman should, at least, be charged with negligent manslaughter. Also, for as much as I don't really like Fieger, he's the right man for this job... he'll surely get the boy and his family a LARGE sum of money.

Toaster, why is it a slippery slope? An emergency was called in, but the dispatcher CHOSE not to take it seriously. She was personally negligent in her actions, and as a result a woman died. There is no slippery slope... if you work in emergency services, you have a responsibility to the public who you serve. This woman failed, and henceforth caused the death of the mother in this story.
xepherys is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 08:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
Delusional... but in a funny way
 
TotalMILF's Avatar
 
Location: deeee-TROIT!!!
That stupid, vile woman cost a little boy his mother. I hope they convict her of negligent manslaughter, and I hope she spends the next several years of her life behind bars. Stupid, stupid, stupid bitch.

I've accidently called 911 before, and I thought I hung up before the call went through. Apparently they didn't, because they immediately called me back. I had to explain the situation (my uncle gave me his old phone and I accidently dialed 911 on speed dial) and beg them not to come to the house. That's the way it should work. You should be able to trust your 911 dispatcher completely. I hope this woman gets everything she has coming to her.
TotalMILF is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 08:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: whOregon
i worked in a 9-1-1 center for a few years, and, while it is sad that the mother died, i'll wait for the full investigation to complete before passing judgement on the dispatcher. From the two snippets of the tape that were played on the cnn video i would have considered this call a prank as well. The child doesnt respond when asked basic questions and makes inaudible mumblings. I still would have dispatched a police officer to check on the situation, however, from the story we have no indication if that was done or not.

It could have been very possible that while the 9-1-1 operator scolded the child, they might have still dispatched aid and the problem was a delayed response to the call.

That video story is, imo, a very sensationalized version of the story and i'll wait for a full investigation until passing judgement on the dispatcher, call center supervisor, and possible lack of officer response before declaring this the fault of the dispatcher. Shit may roll downhill, but responsibility for a bad call goes up the line past the dispatcher who mishandled it, if that is infact what happened.

You have to keep in mind too, that one of the jobs of a 9-1-1 operator is to determine the emergency and assign the appropriate resources to the call. Tying up life saving apparatus and personell on prank calls and calls that are not an emergency can just as easily put other people at risk of not having responders available when they call.

As to it being a mandate for a police officer to respond to any call, thats incorrect. Some agencies may have a policy to dispatch an officer, but it is not a federal standard, nor should it be, imo. The amount of resources assigned to such a task of responding to every single trapped line, regardless if it was a misdial, or anything else would be a huge detriment to responding quickly to legit emergencies.

As to scripted questions, some call centers use them, but for the most part those scripts are part of the emergency medical pre-arrival response system. Most centers dont use a script for the initial call, and i believe they shouldnt. scripted responses are not the fastest way to elicit pertinent details from a scared, timid, irrate, or hysterical caller. Each situation is different and requires a different approach to handling the caller. Medical pre-arrival scripts are very handy tho. They're simple yet clear directions given to the person to administer first-aid to the victim. Those cards and arrival instructions (pertaining to specific medical situations and aid the caller in giving immediate care to the victim) are backed by an agency physician and usually a state standards board.

I hope that this doesnt come off as seeming cold, its a sad situation for sure, but i'd strongly encourage you to take a look at the news story from the perspective that you're hearing very small clips and not seeing any of the other behind the scenes stuff that it is possible the dispatcher did do. I'll be interested in reading the result of the full investigation.
Anexkahn is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 10:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
Extreme moderation
 
Toaster126's Avatar
 
Location: Kansas City, yo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xepherys
Toaster, why is it a slippery slope? An emergency was called in, but the dispatcher CHOSE not to take it seriously. She was personally negligent in her actions, and as a result a woman died. There is no slippery slope... if you work in emergency services, you have a responsibility to the public who you serve. This woman failed, and henceforth caused the death of the mother in this story.
If you start punishing people for making judgement calls in their line of work, you are opening up a can of worms that is best left closed. She wasn't purposefully trying to deny help from the victim, so leave her be, or fire her if she didn't follow policy. There isn't a standard set of responses she should have followed on a federal or state level, so she isn't breaking the law. If anything, she broke company policy. And that's not clear based onthe info we have right now.

We already have people in the medical field taking actions not for the health of the patient, but to cover their ass. Lots of C-Sections are performed at the slightest sign of birth problems because doctors will get reamed by lawsuits if they don't perform a C-section and something bad happens. If something happens during the major surgery that is a C-section, they can be like "hey, I tried my best, I did the C-section".

I also know someone personally that was an EMT that had his paramedic with him sued because the lady who they took in the ambulance had some sort of injury that they didn't see when they filled out the paperwork showing her injuries. That means she could "prove" in a civil case that they somehow caused it, and he was found liable. Scared the fuck outta my buddy, who quit being an EMT.

This is getting long, but basically I don't want medical people acting in their best interests, and thinking about covering their ass. I want them focused on helping ME. That is their job.
__________________
"The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me." (Ayn Rand)
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." (M. Scott Peck)
Toaster126 is offline  
Old 04-09-2006, 10:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by soccerchamp76
The best thing to do, in my opinion, in a 911 call believed to be a prank is to follow through as if it was a real call. Send the police, ambulance, fire department, etc. over to the house. If it is a prank phone call, you charge the prankster with appropriate punishment. If it turns out it wasn't a prank call, the person is saved.
In a perfect world, maybe. But, as I understand it, we are usually low on firefighters/ambulances and police. This woman may have been in the wrong, but imagine what would have happen if she'd sent out an ambo to the pranker, and then because they couldn't get back n time, another person died?

Think about it...
__________________
A.minor.fall.then.a.major.lift
ChistledStone is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 05:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
Junkie
 
highthief's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toaster126
If you start punishing people for making judgement calls in their line of work, you are opening up a can of worms that is best left closed.
I don't think, policy wise, it would be her position to make a "judgment call". She needs to dispatch on the call, plain and simple. You simply cannot tell with young children, dispatchers must err on the side of caution.

I hear this cow won't be losing her job, she's got "too much seniority" apparently, at least that was what I heard a couple of days ago.
__________________
Si vis pacem parabellum.
highthief is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 05:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
OK, I'm going to split hairs here with my opinion on what should happen IF the allegations prove to be true. Obviously the entire recordings need to be reviewed.

First and foremost, did the operator commit a crime? No. She didn't kill this woman, nor did she show willful disregard for her. She made a professional judgement that the kid was making a prank call or had misdialed. She's a trained professional, and she used that training and her experience to make this decision. Granted, it was the wrong one, but she did nothing criminal. If the victim had seen a doctor the day before the incident and didn't diagnose her impending death from - for example - a lung tumor after seeing a chest x-ray, would the doctor be charged with something? No, because he made a professional decision/diagnosis.

Leaving the criminal aside, the city should make sure that their insurance premiums are paid up because those limits are going to get tapped. Again, making the assumption that the allegations prove true, negligent professional decisions are certainly actionable in court, and the city's attorney would be foolish to let it get in front of a jury. The city needs to find out how much the lawyer is looking for, try to negotiate it down a bit and then write the check. Their employee screwed up, pure and simple. Going back to my doctor analogy, missing a big tumor on a chest xray would certainly be cause for action and most likely a finding for the plaintiff. How hard would it be to find a 911 expert to say that at the very least the operator should have sent out a cop to check on the situation? The city should cut this employee lose and start trying to minimize the damage.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 06:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
Insane
 
fightnight's Avatar
 
Location: The lovely Northeast
I haven't noticed this mentioned yet, but in the CNN print article, it says that the boy called initially and was asked if the operator "could speak with an adult." Somehow at that point the call ended and no one was sent. Then he called again 3 hours later and got this 2nd woman who "scolded" him. I think the first woman is just as much to blame as the 2nd. If a kid calls saying his mom's passed out and hurt, wouldn't you think of the fact that there may not be an adult to talk to and subsequently send at least a cop to check on the situation? I think that when it's obviously young children, there should be some sort of obligation to send at least an office to guage the seriousness of the situation in case the child get intimidated on the phone and is unable to convey the seriousness of the situation.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/10/cal....ap/index.html - CNN article.
fightnight is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 06:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
<3 TFP
 
xepherys's Avatar
 
Location: 17TLH2445607250
fightnight - The first and second woman were one and the same, AFAIK.

As to the rest of you, I still vehemently disagree. First of all, with a child, it is simply too difficult to discern a "prank" call from a real emergency. Also, I don't believe it is part of the dispatchers duties to make such a judgement call. In most localities there are steep penalties for misuse of the 911 Emergency System. You SHOULD dispatch at least law enforcement to EVERY CALL. If it is deemed a prank, then a hefty fine is slapped on the pranker or their parents. If it is not a prank, then the civil servants are doing their JOB. If something like this happened to a family member, I'd fly Fieger down here myself to take the case.

Also, as for something illegal or not... the premise of negligent homicide is that someone died due to your lack of action when action could've been taken to prevent it. Or from http://www.iejs.com/Law/Criminal_Law...nslaughter.htm, "negligent homicide, is the killing of another person through gross negligence or without malice". Yup, that pretty much fits the bill. And for your Medic/EMT friend, well, I agree that civil suits are a bit overdone these days, but part of working in that industry is understanding risks and being extremely thorough. I still believe that she should be tried for negligent homicide/manslaughter and definitely lose her job without recourse. Seniority my ass...
xepherys is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 07:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
Junkie
 
highthief's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by fightnight
I think that when it's obviously young children, there should be some sort of obligation to send at least an office to guage the seriousness of the situation in case the child get intimidated on the phone and is unable to convey the seriousness of the situation.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/10/cal....ap/index.html - CNN article.
Bingo - call it laziness, stupidity, willful disregard, whatever, that operator messed up big time.

This is a small child - you cannot make any assumptions about the call without at least sending someone to check it out.
__________________
Si vis pacem parabellum.
highthief is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 07:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by xepherys
Also, as for something illegal or not... the premise of negligent homicide is that someone died due to your lack of action when action could've been taken to prevent it. Or from http://www.iejs.com/Law/Criminal_Law...nslaughter.htm, "negligent homicide, is the killing of another person through gross negligence or without malice". Yup, that pretty much fits the bill. And for your Medic/EMT friend, well, I agree that civil suits are a bit overdone these days, but part of working in that industry is understanding risks and being extremely thorough. I still believe that she should be tried for negligent homicide/manslaughter and definitely lose her job without recourse. Seniority my ass...
Reading the rest of the article goes on to detail the types of negligent homicide/involuntary manslaughter (it uses the terms synominously). One of the terms that they use is "accidental killing", which I think is what we have here. It is
Quote:
Accidental killing on the other hand is in contrast to involuntary. It is defined as "an act which is lawful and lawfully done under a reasonable belief that no harm is possible"
It seems pretty clear to me that this definition fits the circumstances. Accidental killings usually aren't prosecutable.

I have an example of a similar situation on a case that I was involved in. I wrote the liability insurance for a paper bailer (takes cardboard boxes, etc. and crushes them into a tight cube that tied up and loaded onto a truck for recycling). This particular model was very large and took two people to run it. The senior operator told the junior guy (who had only been on the job a couple of days) to clean out the crushing area and then started the ram as a joke. The kill switch malfunctioned and the machine wouldn't stop. There are other, more grusome details about what happened, but the point is that the senior operator was charged with voluntary manslaughter for the accident. He was acquited, although my insurance ended up paying out in the low 7 figures. I don't think that the guy should have been brought to trial, but the machine pretty clearly malfunctioned from what I know.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 07:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
Betitled
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anexkahn
From the two snippets of the tape that were played on the cnn video i would have considered this call a prank as well. The child doesnt respond when asked basic questions and makes inaudible mumblings.
How eloquent were you when you were 6 years old?
Glava is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 08:46 AM   #21 (permalink)
<3 TFP
 
xepherys's Avatar
 
Location: 17TLH2445607250
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
This particular model was very large and took two people to run it. The senior operator told the junior guy (who had only been on the job a couple of days) to clean out the crushing area and then started the ram as a joke. The kill switch malfunctioned and the machine wouldn't stop. There are other, more grusome details about what happened, but the point is that the senior operator was charged with voluntary manslaughter for the accident. He was acquited, although my insurance ended up paying out in the low 7 figures. I don't think that the guy should have been brought to trial, but the machine pretty clearly malfunctioned from what I know.
You don't think he should've been brought to trial? Because it was "just a joke"? Are you fucking serious? First of all, when it comes to equipment like that, there is no joking around... it's serious shit. People die, obviously, due to fucking around with equipment that isn't designed to be a toy. I'm sad he was acquitted. This just shows another situation where, in America, we are no longer responsible for our own actions. You just don't play jokes that put people in harm's way. Whether the equipment failed or not it only half the issue. The manufacturer should've paid out the ass for a faulty kill switch, the senior operator should've pain in jail time for being stupid and costing someone their life becuase of it.
xepherys is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 08:52 AM   #22 (permalink)
Submit to me, you know you want to
 
ShaniFaye's Avatar
 
Location: Lilburn, Ga
I know this is kind off topic....but I have to comment on the baler incident.

As the person responsible for all safety issues at our facility, this is totally appalling. When I went thru safety admin training I had to was several "baler incident" videos....each of them more gut wrenching that the previous one. I dont care if the baler malfunctioned or not....joking around with this type of machinery is just totally unacceptable. No way if I'd been on that jury would this guy have gotten off if I'd had anything to do with it.
__________________
I want the diabetic plan that comes with rollover carbs. I dont like the unused one expiring at midnite!!
ShaniFaye is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 09:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaniFaye
I know this is kind off topic....but I have to comment on the baler incident.

As the person responsible for all safety issues at our facility, this is totally appalling. When I went thru safety admin training I had to was several "baler incident" videos....each of them more gut wrenching that the previous one. I dont care if the baler malfunctioned or not....joking around with this type of machinery is just totally unacceptable. No way if I'd been on that jury would this guy have gotten off if I'd had anything to do with it.
As someone who sees the direct results of lots and lots of industrial products who may or may not malfunction, I completely agree. All the parties ended up agreeing that the senior operator (and therefore the employer) had a good share of contributory negligence. Apparently the intent was to start the machine and immediately stop it again. From what I've heard (although I have no real proof) OSHA now uses this accident as an example for why you don't play jokes with heavy machinery. The operator was fired immediately after the accident for violating the "no horseplay" rule, and apparently he tried to commit suicide shortly thereafter.

I'm not as privy to the criminal history of this account as I am the civil side, but I do know that criminal defender argued that this was an unforeseeable accident. I recall something about the senio operator having done this several times with the guy that held the job before - apparently they would lock each other in and generally screw around. Apparently this was hazing of the new guy, and the machine didn't perform the way it had in the past.

My example isn't bulletproof, unfortunately. The 911 operator used her best professional judgement on the call, and she was wrong. Maybe she was frustrated, maybe it was a bad day, maybe she was distracted - regardless, she made the wrong decision, but that's a decision that she's paid to make. In my example, the senior machine operator was doing something well outside the scope of his employment, but the 911 operator was doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing. Unfortunately, she didn't believe that the kid wasn't screwing around or try to clarify his needs. I think she (and therefore the city) are civilly liable, but I can't see how she's criminally liable for doing her job, albeit incorrectly. I'm sorry the woman died, but no crime was committed. If you guys can't see that, well... *shrug*
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 09:41 AM   #24 (permalink)
<3 TFP
 
xepherys's Avatar
 
Location: 17TLH2445607250
Again, I don't believe it's a decision she's paid to make. What she's paid to do is to take calls to the 911 system, and dispatch the appropriate emergency response unit (police, fire, medic). There should NEVER be a time when someone trusted with this type of responsibility should make a decision NOT to take it seriously. Let's look at a few possible scenarios:


Scenario #1

There a party of teenagers, and they are drunk and high. One teen has a bad reaction to some drugs and is frothing at the mouth. Another teen, freaking out, calls 911, but is OBVIOUSLY drunk and/or high, so the disaptcher determines this to be a party prank and ends the call. The first teenager dies because of that decision. Oh well, she made a judgement call...

Scenario #2

An elderly couple lives on their own. The man has a stroke and falls over. The woman gets to the phone and calls 911, but in her senility, can't really get her point across. The 911 dispatcher assumes someone is pulling a prank becuase the caller "won't put someone else" on the phone. The man dies. Oh well, she made a judgement call...

There is absolutely NO tolerable excuse for an emergency dispatcher to make a judgement call at all, ever. Their job is to DISPATCH someone, not judge the situation. Even is it isn't law, and even if some companies do not have policies that prevent this, this is a perfect case to make those things happen. If you can't trust 911 to respond to an emergency, the whole system is pretty much shot to hell.
xepherys is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 09:43 AM   #25 (permalink)
Eat your vegetables
 
genuinegirly's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Arabidopsis-ville
So... a little boy with no phone skills (in shock, perhaps? My phone skills would disappear in such an instance, too!) calls 911, no one takes him seriously, and his mother dies. Hopefully the dispatcher isn't at their post throughout the investigation. Hopefully some scrutiny of ALL current emergency call center personnel is in order. Time to re-train. Everyone.

About a year ago, a couple of police officers showed up at the front desk where I worked. arently a fax machine had dialed 911. A fax machine that I wasn't even aware we had. They were checking to be sure there weren't any problems. It was a bit of a nuisance at the time since things were busy in the office, but in light of this story, I am comforted that they came.

If the address can be tracked, someone should go. Everyone should go. Fire truck, ambulance, and police. If they're not needed, charge someone with a hefty fine (yes, even companies whose fax machines mess up) If they don't have the resources to send everyone, send a couple of cops with Emergency training. They could call for backup.
__________________
"Sometimes I have to remember that things are brought to me for a reason, either for my own lessons or for the benefit of others." Cynthetiq

"violence is no more or less real than non-violence." roachboy
genuinegirly is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 10:07 AM   #26 (permalink)
<3 TFP
 
xepherys's Avatar
 
Location: 17TLH2445607250
As a side note to this, having done phone/PBX work in the past, one thing we always had to do, espeically with VoIP, was test 911 connectivity. So, we'd set the system up, then call 911 and explain to them that we were setting up a new phone system and testing it's 911 capabilities. If we just dialed 911 and hung up, I'm sure we'd have made many clients unhappy.
xepherys is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 10:49 AM   #27 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by xepherys
Again, I don't believe it's a decision she's paid to make. What she's paid to do is to take calls to the 911 system, and dispatch the appropriate emergency response unit (police, fire, medic). There should NEVER be a time when someone trusted with this type of responsibility should make a decision NOT to take it seriously.

...

There is absolutely NO tolerable excuse for an emergency dispatcher to make a judgement call at all, ever. Their job is to DISPATCH someone, not judge the situation. Even is it isn't law, and even if some companies do not have policies that prevent this, this is a perfect case to make those things happen. If you can't trust 911 to respond to an emergency, the whole system is pretty much shot to hell.
Xepherys, I guess that's where you and I just can't agree. She's a trained professional with years of experience. I would assume that some of that training is how to weed out prank calls. From what I understand, 911 centers get thousands of those a year. Some cities/call centers have guidelines that a cop is sent to check on every single one unless the caller admits to a prank or a misdial (and some places even a misdial). If a city doesn't have the resources to spare to do this, then it falls to the 911 operator to decide which calls are legitimate and which aren't. Again, I would think that this is part of their training, and this lady apparently had years of experience with no similar mistakes noted, so one would think that she takes this particular part of job as seriously as it deserves. If the city can't spare the resources to check on every call (and I'll bet that other cities the size of Detroit don't make similar checks either), then who would you have that decision fall to? Would you rather have a city police department basically paralyzed because some family decided to make 1,000 prank calls to 911?
HTML Code:
http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060408/1029054.asp
The 911 operator's job is to do much more than just act as a dispatcher, especially in a place like Detroit. She can't send the entire police force over to the west side of town because of a bunch of prank calls. That would leave the east side devoid of police protection. Regardless of what you think, this is a decision that the city entrusted her to make. Unfortunately for everyone involved, she made the wrong one and a woman is dead because of it (maybe). These are the facts of life in Detroit aparently. I guess the alternative is for the police force to staff up to be able to answer any and all prank calls. Where's that money going to come from?
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 11:20 AM   #28 (permalink)
Here
 
World's King's Avatar
 
Location: Denver City Denver
In the words of Public Enemy...

911 is a Joke in your Town...
__________________
heavy is the head that wears the crown
World's King is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 01:10 PM   #29 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: Arizona
This story sickens me. So, does this mean if you've had your throat slit and can barely talk but manage to call 911 on your phone they won't come?
Impetuous1 is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 01:25 PM   #30 (permalink)
<3 TFP
 
xepherys's Avatar
 
Location: 17TLH2445607250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Impetuous1
This story sickens me. So, does this mean if you've had your throat slit and can barely talk but manage to call 911 on your phone they won't come?
Apparently... as long as the 911 operator has made a professional and experienced decision that you don't really need help.
xepherys is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 02:10 PM   #31 (permalink)
Upright
 
Location: Machesney Park, IL
First off, when I heard this story I was absolutely appalled!!! I am an operator for a hospital and cannot find a way to even try to justify what she did. I was (as many of you guys as well) under the impression that all calls were to be taken serious regardless of the nature and that no matter what an officer was automatically sent to the place of the call. My thoughts and prayers are definitely with this little boy and his family!
__________________
Is there really such a thing as peace and happiness?
Biffaloo420 is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 02:14 PM   #32 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Seriously, I don't think that you guys understand the point I'm trying to make here. The operator thought the kid was playing with the phone. She didn't take him seriously, almost certainly (IMO) because of his age. All I know of the training is that it's there, but I would assume that someone calling and not saying anything would elicit a response. The question isn't the training but why it broke down in this case. The operator fucked up. Period. I completely agree with that. It should never happen and hopefully never will again. I just happen to disagree that she should go to jail for it. Read my previous comments. She and the city are civilly liable, but you shouldn't put her on trial because she did her job poorly. If that were the case, there would be lots of doctors in there with her since I don't see much of a difference between thinking this kid was screwing around and missing the big spot on the chest xray because it's under a doctor's thumb.

BTW - if your throat is cut to the point that you can't talk, don't bother call 911. Unless it happened in the ER with the doctor at the ready, you're dead.
__________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 02:23 PM   #33 (permalink)
<3 TFP
 
xepherys's Avatar
 
Location: 17TLH2445607250
First of all, http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/04/10/91...uit/index.html

Quote:
At a news conference announcing the filing of the suit, Fieger said Robert Turner's case is not the only one.

He played another 911 tape from January 12, 2005, in which a woman who had been shot in the head by her husband called 911.

On the tape, the operator can be heard asking the woman if she has a mental problem and then asking that the husband who shot the woman be put on the phone. Rescuers did not come until a third call was placed by the woman's son, who lives out of state.

The woman in that case, said Fieger, lived but is paralyzed. He said the second case "indicates to the city that they have a problem that needs to be addressed."
Secondly, The_Jazz, regardless of the training involved, emergency calls should ALWAYS be taken seriously. I see what you're saying, but I find it a blatent way to prevent people from taking responsibility for poor decision that harm others. Hye, if your throat is cut, I guess you'll just go sit in the La-Z-Boy and wait to die, huh The_Jazz? Must be great to have such clarity of thought.

Frankly, your opinion makes me ill... it's not you personally... MANY Americans feel this way these days. I think it's crap. First of all, dispatchers are not highly trained, high-paid professionals, they're often local government folk (especially in major cities) and are ONLY operators and dispatchers, not psychologists, not doctors, not police officers. If they HAD good training, they'd probably have a job that paid better. Training usually = $$$. At any rate, they are NOT paid to think, they are paid to answer phones and dispatch emergency services. Again, they are NOT paid to think... they aren't philosophers or teachers. They aren't fucking sages or visionaries, they're goddamned operators.
xepherys is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 02:41 PM   #34 (permalink)
Go Cardinals
 
soccerchamp76's Avatar
 
Location: St. Louis/Cincinnati
A 911 operator isn't paid to analyze the phone call. Just determine the situation and send help. The boy said his mother had "passed out." Now, what prankster would make up that his mother had passed out??? That isn't a "humorous" call. The bitch was retarded, made a horrible decision, and will now pay for it. No matter what happens though, she will never bring the boy's mother back to life. Shame on her.
__________________
Brian Griffin: Ah, if my memory serves me, this is the physics department.
Chris Griffin: That would explain all the gravity.
soccerchamp76 is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 03:08 PM   #35 (permalink)
Junkie
 
highthief's Avatar
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
Seriously, I don't think that you guys understand the point I'm trying to make here. .
I think, no offense, you are missing the point - there is no judgment call to make here, regardless of her training. When a potentially serious call comes in, you go.
__________________
Si vis pacem parabellum.
highthief is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 03:11 PM   #36 (permalink)
Extreme moderation
 
Toaster126's Avatar
 
Location: Kansas City, yo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by soccerchamp76
A 911 operator isn't paid to analyze the phone call. Just determine the situation and send help. The boy said his mother had "passed out." Now, what prankster would make up that his mother had passed out??? That isn't a "humorous" call. The bitch was retarded, made a horrible decision, and will now pay for it. No matter what happens though, she will never bring the boy's mother back to life. Shame on her.
Determining the situation is analyzing the call...
__________________
"The question isn't who is going to let me, it's who is going to stop me." (Ayn Rand)
"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." (M. Scott Peck)
Toaster126 is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 03:57 PM   #37 (permalink)
Banned
 
Zeraph's Avatar
 
Location: The Cosmos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney

Basically when a call is made, you don't consider it finished until you are _absolutely_ sure there is no problem according to standard procedures. For example, if you call 911 around here and then hang up, they'll ring you back. And if you don't answer, they'll send the cops.
That's how it is here in peoria arizona. My sister accidently (don't ask me how since none of the numbers come close to starting with 911) dialed it and hung up immediately, I think before it even had a chance to audibly ring. She was calling someone so I guess she must not have answered call waiting when she was talking to her friend, assuming 911 called back. But 5-10 minutes later a cop showed up at our door asking if we had any trouble. It's a cool system, makes me feel safer to know I don't have to actually speak to them to get them here if there was ever a situation I could just dial and defend.

And my opinion is she should probably be fired on the spot. You don't mess around in these situations.
Zeraph is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 04:58 PM   #38 (permalink)
Upright
 
Location: MI
They were discussing this on the radio this morning and about 5 different cops from the Metro Detroit Area called in and defended the operators. They blamed the situation on a shortage in the department and putting calls on priority. While I understand the shortage going on around here, that doesn't account for the operator's attitude. Even if she was unsure of it being a prank or not, she should of sent someone out to check at least. On the first call, the operator said she would dispatch the police and then proceeded to hang up on the child. She never dispatched anyone. The child sat there and waited, watching his mother die. When he called the second time, he got a lecture and was told he was in trouble, then he proceeded to hang up.

As for the child's reluctancy to answer the woman's questions, what would anyone expect. The child is 5 years old (now 6) and his mother is on the floor passed out. He was scared and confused and probably couldn't answer her questions.

My nephew called 911 on my phone without my knowledge. My nephew, 2 at the time, said "Hi" and then hung up. The police showed up 15 minutes later. At the time, I lived right outside of Detroit.
sunkssd is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 05:36 PM   #39 (permalink)
Easy Rider
 
flstf's Avatar
 
Location: Moscow on the Ohio
So far in this thread 5 or 6 people have alluded to situations where 911 calls were eroneously made. This is surprising and must keep the police pretty busy with BS responses if this percentage is anywhere close to the real world.

As far as this 911 call, of course the operator should have sent help. Unfortunately when public employees screw up like this, us taxpayers are the ones who get sued and have to pay.
flstf is offline  
Old 04-10-2006, 07:30 PM   #40 (permalink)
Deja Moo
 
Elphaba's Avatar
 
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
I'm in the 'wait and see' camp and not ready for a lynching. Is there a possibility that some number of false 911 calls had come from that particular number in the past?
Elphaba is offline  
 

Tags
911, boy, calls, dies, mother, scolded

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:21 PM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360