Consolidating city calls
The American Red Cross teaches certification courses in life-saving skills like CPR, and before administering aid you’re advised to call 911.
But most of us don’t know what happens between the time we call and the time help arrives.
Frequently, dispatchers must rely on descriptions of landmarks and other local information.“[Often], the caller has no idea where they are and the technology is not there with cell companies,” said Adams.
“Local knowledge absolutely matters when a caller can only cite a house color or what the street around them looks like or what they think a road or town is called.
With the signal bouncing off of cellphone towers all over the place, it can be more difficult to use a computer system to locate callers.
The most reliable way to ensure 911 has the right address is to call from a landline, but even that isn’t flawless.
On November 16, 2016, Becky Seguin found her brother David unresponsive with only a faint pulse.
Becky called 911 while her younger brother, a firefighter, and his girlfriend, a registered nurse, tried to save David’s life.
Across the United States, every disclaimer about emergencies tells you to call 911.
Even in areas of the country known for technological innovations, cellphones do not always transmit location data.
In Silicon Valley, California, precise location data was shared in only 10 to 37 percent of emergency calls in 2012.1999 saw 26% of 911 calls originate from cell phones, while the number today has tripled to over 75%.
“I can recall one time that I could attribute a death to [dispatch consolidation].
Vermont State Police could not tell if the address was Route 30 North or Route 30 South. By the time it got figured out and we got on scene, the person was dead.”Around the country, in addition to dispatchers no longer having local knowledge, they now have to work longer hours.