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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Unhappy 911 Phone Glitch

    This would just SUCK as a first responder.

    Man Found Dead After Glitch Confuses Rescuers. Body Found In Office 10 Hours After Initial Emergency Call

    POSTED: 1:11 pm EDT April 21, 2006
    UPDATED: 8:01 pm EDT April 21, 2006

    WASHINGTON -- A Bangladeshi immigrant was found dead at his Gaithersburg, Md., office 10 hours after he called emergency services saying he needed medical help.

    Kaafee Billah, 39, phoned for help 40 minutes after he started work at the medical company MedImmune Inc. on Tuesday morning, but almost 10 hours passed before cleaning staff found him lying on the floor of his office, the Washington Post reported Friday.

    Police said that an apparent phone glitch sent medical personnel to the wrong address and, finding nothing amiss, they believed the call was unfounded.

    "There is no way at this time to say if he would have survived the event if rescue personnel had reached him in a timely manner," the police officer who documented his death wrote in a preliminary report. "The error is in the technology of the company phone system."

    A spokesman for the Montgomery County's Fire and Rescue Service said that Billah was not able to provide an address when he called.

    When emergency dispatchers are unable to get an exact location, they try to track down the information and find the person who called. A dispatcher sent medical help to the address determined by computerized caller identification, which turned out to be a different MedImmune building in the area.

    A police spokesman said that emergency calls from corporate phone systems are sometimes traced to the wrong location because phone lines in multiple buildings are traced to a single address.

    "This has long been a concern of 911 telecommunicators nationwide that we need our phone systems to provide us the information that matches the exact location of the phone, not a generic address," said Montgomery County police spokeswoman Lucille Baur.

    Billah's body was found after emergency services received another call, this time from a worker at the building in which the man's office was located.

    "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Billah," said MedImmune spokeswoman Lori Weiman. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

    Billah was an immigrant from Bangladesh who received a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University in 2002.

    Copyright 2006 by nbc4.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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  2. #2
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    Yes that would suck...but as stated in the article, it was a generic, non specific location, not a whole lot you can do about it.
    FF/NREMT-B

    FTM-PTB!!

    Brass does not equal brains.

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to control it.

  3. #3
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    This is really nothing new. Not 911's fault and not the ambulance's fault. It isn't a 911 glitch or any glitch at all. There is nothing wrong, nothing broken, and nothing new. It is all working exactly as it is designed. Any PBX type phone system that uses a few centralized lines for outgoing calls is going to do that. You dial 9 on the phone, it gives you an outgoing call line from a pool of lines. The phone company's database will list those lines as either the location of the PBX switch or the buisness's main office. Those outgoing lines have no bearing on incoming calls and they don't know or care where inside the complex the person who pressed "9" is located.

    There are more advanced systems out there that can do more as far as locations, but they aren't common in a small buisnes envirnment.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    I guess I should have been a bit more specific. On this case, I was not meaning that the 911 system was at fault, or that anyone from emergency services did anything out of line.

    Mostly it was from the stand point of being the responder, and after a reasonable search, declaring a "none-event" only to find out that due to a central switchboard (no fault of anyone) system, someone got hurt.

    Of course I can't speak for any except myself, but if I was in a situation like that, I will always wonder the "What if" scenario. Thats all I was really after. From dispatch to response, everyone did what would reasonably be expected. No on can ask for better.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  5. #5
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    I always get an uncomfortable feeling when we get unfounded calls. Not on every call because with some good fact finding you can usually determine why the call was unfounded, but we get calls on the interstate for car accidents and either our department or the state police declare it unfounded. I always think of those horror stories where cars go over the bank and the people bleed to death because no one could find them. Obviously a witnessed accident probably will recieve enough calls to warrant a major search but with just one cell caller who see's it and doesn't want to stop to render aid (if you dont its illegal in most states) there is a possibility of them just being forgotten until someone happens across them or the families report them missing.

  6. #6
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    10 hours?!?! Holy cow I hope my coworkers would find me in less than 10 hours!!!

    I also hate clearing a call UTL (unable to locate)... makes me nervous every time.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    but with just one cell caller who see's it and doesn't want to stop to render aid
    I call those "Drive-By-Cell-Phone" calls, (as opposed to drive-by-shootings ) and they are my biggest concern. Did the caller really see something or is this just a prank because someone was, bored with nothing else constructive to do with his/her time?
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  8. #8
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    The perverbial "One caller reporting a fully involved car fire".... during rush hour. You know it will be an overheat.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Haweater's Avatar
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    We've seen the dispatchers totally disregard the information from the caller and insist on sending help to what their computer screen shows. With the phone patch through our handheld radios, one of our guys called 911 for an ambulance and we had to listen to him argue with her as she wanted to send an ambulance to the municipal office where the bill for the phone line to our tower gets sent.

  10. #10
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Computer systems are great. E-911 has probably saved thousands of lives. The newly implimented cell phone GPS & Triangulation E-911 has already saved coutless lives that would normally have been out to pasture. However, all of that is much like a thermal imager. It lets you see things you wouldn't normally be able to see. But it doesn't mean you disregard what you can feel or see right in front of you with your own eyes. It is a tool that will help us, not a tool that will do our jobs for us.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  11. #11
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    I guess he will not make that mistake again then.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 38ffems
    I always get an uncomfortable feeling when we get unfounded calls.
    Last week, we got toned out for a smoke investigation. It was 2300 and raining. We get into the area and I immediately go to spotlights to poll the air for particulates. It was a bit difficult with the moisture in the air, but I attempted it anyway. Without seeing anything, I approached the complainant's home and they said that there was smoke in the air up and down the street, but it wasn't in their home. I knew there was a house three doors down that sets back off the road about 100', so we went to that location and before we straightened out the apparatus onto the drive, I saw smoke blowing across our path. Upon further investigation, we found a pile of leaves and some other rubbish being burned, quite safely I might add. With the rain, the smoke had become dense and the wind was shifting due to the storm. We cleared and quartered the truck.

    The next day, my chief tells me that someone's house had burned to the ground without being noticed while the occupants were out of town. The house was in the midst of a densely wooded area and could not be seen from the road, but was about a mile from the area that we canvassed the night before. I'm wondering if I could have done something better or perhaps could have been more thorough. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty much like crap over it.

  13. #13
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    You checked the area. You found the smoke the caller was refering to. You determined the source (controlled burn). If there was a house on fire a mile away, it was an ironic coincidence, but unrelated. Of course, I can say this because I wasn't there. If I were in your position, my stomach would probably be in the pits too, and I hope someone else would be reassuring me just like I am now.

    As far as I'm concerned, if you want someone to know your house is on fire without you calling it in, you should get a monitored alarm system. Without one, it's going to be gone.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    I agree with NM here. You searched the call that was made, and did a good job of it too. You found the complaint source. That the other home was a mile away can't be helped.

    However, I share your discomfort - I would feel the same.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  15. #15
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    We had a fire a couple years ago and basically we went to this location for a medical call, we had our heavy rescue there (we used to use it to go to medicals). We cleared the call and went back to our station, which is within view of where the medical call was. 5-10 minutes after clearing the medical call a person ran over saying the building had fire blowing outta the windows, sure enough an unrelated incident caused a fire, which caught a large rubber gym ball on fire. This is the equivalant to like 5 gallons of gas i guess and spread extremely rapidly so much so it was initially thought to be arson. The towns people saw us there with the rescue and people thought we had brought the wrong truck or had gone and could find the fire and left. It was a pain and we had to carefully explain what had happened, there are still some people who dont know that we run medical/rescue/hazmat/etc... calls.

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