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This morning, as always, my wife was watching “TV” on her ipad as she prepared for the day. I overheard the Rossen Report was on so I began to listen. They were covering the sad story of a woman who drowned in her SUV because 911 could locate her location. The 911 operation asked several times for her location, she couldn’t find her, and ultimately the woman drowned. My heart goes out to the family of this woman, this is heartbreaking.
This story does bring to light a major issue. Something that I have covered in a different venue, many times. 911 response time. We will not be talking politics here, but the saying can still apply, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.” Now, this is not to take away from our first responders, anyone who is familiar with my work knows that I am a very big supporter of the NYPD, and first responders in general. The work that they do is invaluable, and I do not knock or attack them.
That being said, the police, ambulance, and other rescue services cannot be everywhere all of the time. That’s why I am a firm believer in citizens taking the necessary steps to take care of themselves. However, there are times when we will require assistance, and the fact that the FCC stated that they hope to have a 40% improvement in services, within two years, really raises concerns as to where those services are today.
I send my son home in a cab on occasion, we use Uber at times, and I can see EXACTLY where my son is on his way home. Using his iPhone, I can locate where he is at anytime. When I am going to order food, the services I use, such as grubhub and seamlessweb can determine exactly where I am and recommend restaurants. When I am lost, Google maps can find me, and tell me STEP BY STEP where to go. I have access to all this technology, and I am just a civilian now!
In fact, even when I was serving the nation, we encountered the same types of problems when it came to funding and technology. It seems as if we were always slightly behind the curve. I’m not talking state of the art, I’m talking just barely meeting the current minimum!
Rossen asked the 911 operator to track his location based on a phone call he made to them, they could not. How is it that our 911 operators are using technology that failed that test, and failed that driver in the SUV? How can they say that they expect a 40% improvement in two years, when the technology exists today?
Ladies and gentlemen, when it comes to saving lives, bureaucracy and red tape should not be an issue. We know that government moves slow, but when it comes to saving lives, this should not be the case. I think I really need to reexamine my bid to run for public office. These things have to change.
Thanks to our friends at the Rossen Report for bringing us stories like this one. I was not aware of how bad it actually was, and this is why I felt compelled to share this story! We all must be made aware, and these things need to change. Sooner, not later! Correcting these problems would prevent needless loss of life.
I will restate, this piece is not an attack on our first responders. You guys keep us safe, and we appreciate you. What this piece is about, is getting our leaders to give you guys the tools you require to save lives more efficiently! So, once again, to all of our heroes out there, thank you for all that you do.