Thread: 911 problems

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    Post 911 problems

    Emergency dispatch centers hit with wave of phony calls
    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Phony emergency calls from deactivated
    cell phones are distracting 911 dispatch centers and sometimes
    divert the attention of emergency crews, according to dispatchers.
    In just two months, the Weber/Morgan dispatch center has
    recorded more than 1,100 calls from deactivated cell phones, most
    of them pranks, said operations manager Cindy Fox.
    Because tracing calls from a deactivated cell phone is
    difficult, if not impossible, the callers go unpunished for their
    false alarms.
    The phony calls are sometimes convincing enough to divert
    police, fire and medical crews to fake addresses.
    Weber/Morgan dispatchers reported sending a K-9 unit to handle a
    caller's concern about a trespasser, then a fire engine and
    ambulance to another call about a fallen man. Both were false
    reports.
    "We are trying to get emergency services to people who really
    need the help," said dispatch supervisor Cathy Pommier. "If we
    send fire units, police units and ambulances to calls that aren't
    real, that takes manpower away from calls that actually need it."
    Salt Lake City dispatchers report almost a thousand calls over
    deactivated cell phones between January and February. Most of the
    calls were pranks.
    St. George senior dispatcher Rachel Sharich said she personally
    received at least 20 prank calls - some with just children's voices
    in the background - during a five-day period last week.
    Federal law requires cell phones be able to broadcast a 911 call
    whether the phone is activated or not.
    Some deactivated phones prove valuable for victims of domestic
    violence who receive them through charities and use them to make
    emergency calls. But dispatchers say they get hundreds of calls
    from children dialing 911 on deactivated cell phones that parents
    have handed down as toys.
    Patrick Halley, government affairs director for the National
    Emergency Number Association (NENA), said the Federal
    Communications Commission knew of possible abuses when they
    required cell phone carriers to relay emergency calls.
    Although prank calls have become problematic, Halley defends the
    decision.
    "Is it worth having 1,000 prank calls to save two lives?" he
    asked. "In my opinion, yes."
    ---
    Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
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    "Is it worth having 1,000 prank calls to save two lives?" he
    asked. "In my opinion, yes."
    And how many people are dying because the response time to a CPR just increased 20 minutes because the nearest crew got dispatched accross town on a false structure fire?

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