Rant On... If you don't give a damn about you or your family's safety ignore this......
Date June 13, 2003. Portland, Maine. Today was the day we started the section on Enhanced 911 and EMD in our EMT-Basic course. EMD is Emergency Medical Dispatch which basically means dispatchers trained in Emergency Medical Technician procedureds. They can handle calls on Cardiac arrest, rescue breathing, heimlich meneuver, anaphalactic shock, diabetic emergencies, etc.. and talk the callers thru methods of helping the victims.
Enter stage left, the biggest, brawniest, burliest man you could image. This man has been a career firefighter/paramedic for the past 25 years. He could pick up a school bus if needed.
On August 22, 2000 portland police received a 911 call from a female. She states that her and her 4 year old daughter are involved in a domestic dispute. She has been assaulted with a knife. The dispatcher cannot clearly hear the victim and asks her to speak up. The woman states that she cannot speak much louder because the male suspect is in the other room and she is hiding from him. Dispatch makes out the street name but could not understand the house number. At this time dispatch hears screaming, a male voice yelling and the phone goes dead. Dispatch tries to call back but encounters a busy signal.
The rescue call was dispatched to police and EMS within 90 seconds of the telephone call. The police arrived on the street within 6 minutes. It took 29 minutes from the time of the original call was received til the police arrived at house #413. The police entered the house and found two people, a 29 year old female and a 4 year old girl passed away. It was later determined by the coroner that both would have lived if help would have arrived just 5 minutes sooner. Both had been stabbed and bled to death.
.....Wow, nice story you might be saying. Well, I'll tell you I will never forget this for the rest of my life. As our instructor wrapped up the story, with tears rolling down his cheak, he asked us all to say a short prayer for his sister and his niece.
You may say so what, you may say big deal. Had this town had Enhanced 911, police and ems would have been dispatched within 30 seconds and would have the exact location of their destination. The yould have been on scene within 8 minutes of the original call, not 29. They would have had plenty of time to save both victims. The saddest part is with federal and state funding, any town can get Enhanced 911 implemented for less than they pay for recycling services. It's nice to know our lives are recylable. Yay trees!
If you think your life or that of your family is worth saving the $5 a month on phone service then by all means go ahead and get Vonage but just remember, when you need to use 911, and you will, would you feel ok knowing that your call will be routed to a national 911 hotline where someone may or may not be on duty, and even then they won't know your address unless you tell them. It's up to you! Please be safe brothers and sisters!!!!
"How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home beermaking course, and I forgot how to drive?" - Homer J. Simpson