While there are many Internet-savvy police departments out there, one thing that the world’s cops have not yet learned how to do is receive reports of car crashes and other catastrophes through Facebook posts. That’s why the Iowa State University police are annoyed with the population they serve. When an out-of-control Infiniti landed on top of some other cars, onlookers took their phones out to take pictures, but not to call emergency services. [More]
What’s an emergency management department to do when 9-1-1 calls are spiking, but there aren’t enough workers to cover all those calls? San Francisco turned to researchers in an effort to understand a recent surge in emergency calls, which has been putting a strain on its emergency resources, and found that butts are to blame. Specifically, when someone’s backside accidentally makes a 9-1-1 call.
How important is it that telephone companies provide constant access to 9-1-1 service? Americans make an average of more than 27,000 of these emergency calls an hour, so when a nationwide wireless provider is unable to connect its users to 9-1-1 for even a few hours, they can be on the hook for millions of dollars. [More]
Beer is one of the major Consumerist food groups, along with tacos, cheese, and bacon. It’s very important and nice to have around. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should dial up emergency services to report that your granddaughter won’t buy you beer, as one Tennessee woman allegedly did. [Associated Press]
No one questions the life-saving service that ambulances provide, or the expense of keeping teams of life-saving professionals on call 24 hours a day. One Tennessee man was horrified when he paid almost $800 for an ambulance to fetch him from his third-floor apartment and take him to the hospital when he hurt his back. He didn’t need life support: he would have done just fine with an elevator and a taxi. [More]
A few decades ago, it was unimaginable for most of us. Would you have believed that even regular old middle-class people would have a device like the smartphone? It’s about the size of a pack of cards, with hours of battery life, and you can use it in a time of natural disaster to get the latest news, learn about road closings and emergency services, send mass updates to friends and loved ones, and maybe watch TV or play some games. In a pinch, it even makes phone calls. Yes, as long as cell towers are still up and you can charge the battery, a phone is an ideal companion in a natural disaster. The Red Cross confirmed that this week, releasing a survey of American adults that shows more of us are getting our emergency information in app form: then, presumably, playing Angry Birds.
A Brooklyn woman who slipped and broke her ankle on Sunday had to wait 30 hours for the ambulance to show up after she called 911. The blizzard, and the city’s sub-optimal response to clearing it up, left cars and even emergency service vehicles stranded in the snow.
What happens when you have phone service through Comcast and you dial 0 for the operator in an emergency? A family in Florida claims that Comcast’s negligence killed their grandmother. The elderly woman bled to death next to her phone while waiting for the Comcast operator and emergency services to figure out where she lived. Now they’re suing Comcast.
Oh, jeez. Way to go, Vonage: