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DC 911 broken

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  • Tobias Kienle
    After reading this story, I thought I would share our 911 story from this weekend. We were coming back from brunch Monday on U ST & were waiting to cross at
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2006
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      After reading this story, I thought I would share our
      911 story from this weekend. We were coming back from
      brunch Monday on U ST & were waiting to cross at 14th
      ST. We heard an argument at the bus stop in front of
      the Subway there, when suddenly one guy sucker punches
      another, who drops backward onto the sidewalk & hits
      his head really hard. After the attacker runs away,
      everyone just went about their business, including
      around 10 people at the bus stop, just watching this
      guy unconscious & bleeding.

      I called 911, & for 5 (FIVE) minutes, went back &
      forth with 2 dispatchers. The first dispatcher said I
      needed to speak to an EMT/Fire dispatcher, so she
      transferred me. The 2nd one kept asking me if I could
      see if the guy was breathing. I explained to her
      about 3 or 4 times that I had crossed the street, as
      well as the location: "I'm on the corner of U & 14th
      St NW, in front of the Reeves DC government building,
      and the guy is laying in front of the Subway
      restaurant on the North side of U". Then she started
      asking me if MPD was there. I said no, & she asked if
      I could hold for an MPD dispatcher. I said sure, &
      while waiting, MPD & a fire truck showed up. Someone
      else must have called & gotten someone more effective,
      because the people I spoke to hadn't dispatched anyone
      in 5 minutes.

      I hope these stories get passed along, but it looks
      like DC needs to bring in some kind of efficiency
      expert or consultant to fix this mess. I thought the
      whole point of calling 911 was for them to dispatch
      anything & everything needed once they collected the
      info. My first sentence was "I'm calling to report a
      man who was punched, fell & hit his head, & is lying
      unconscious & bleeding on the sidewalk". I'm no
      expert, but I would think that would automatically
      justify some form of EMT/ambulance, & a police unit.
      And how hard is 14th & U NW to find?

      I wonder how many calls like this happen that don't
      make it onto the evening news, like the guy in upper
      NW who was robbed & died from his injuries because the
      ambulance took 20 or more minutes to get there. Or
      that car explosion in SE a few months back where the
      ambulance took 40 minutes while the victim lay on the
      street with 2nd degree burns. DC is tiny compared to
      other major cities, & there are fire/rescue stations
      all over the place. 911 is the weak link, & needs to
      be fixed.

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