Disclaimer before I go any further: There are MANY good and some great police officers out there. This post is about the 911 reporting system to get to emergency services.

Okay, so I’ve added up the calls I’ve made in the last year or so that I can remember. These calls were to report people in distress. One was a person slumped over a steering wheel at around 3 in the morning, another for a guy laid out flat on his back on a sidewalk and not moving, and most recently, for a car on the highway that was on fire. I think those are valid reasons to call an emergency service. However, each of these calls, from a cell phone, started off as follows with the 911 Operator playing the role of an emergency services provides and me, playing the role of concerned citizen:

911 Operator: “Hello, …. what is your emergency?”

Me: <describes the emergency and provides exact location. e.g. “I’m at the corner of X and X streets or at a particular highway exit east, and there’s a grey car on fire or there’s a white male lying flat on his back on the sidewalk if you’re facing south. He’s wearing light blue jeans and ….”.

911 Operator: “Are you in the city of the county?”

Me: *scowls, frowns, and tries to figure out where the damn city/county line is to give an accurate answer and not have someone die because of my inability to respond immediately*. “I think I’m in the  …”

911 Operator: “Let me transfer you to …. ” and they actually transfer me and I have to repeat the entire thing AGAIN!!!

I’ll stop the story right here. If I’m giving you an exact location and description of the issue/person, etc. shouldn’t YOU as the 911 Operator look it up? AND why on earth do you have to transfer me?

Also, just to highlight another seemingly crazy question I’ve been asked by 911 operators, “Is he breathing? Can you go/stop and check?” While I will help if I can, I don’t always see this as a great idea. After all, I can check for a pulse but I’m not in this particular line of work and I’m trying to help by calling the group of people who do this for a living and are way better at it than I am, so shouldn’t they check if I’m reporting it? Not to seem callous, but I don’t want to find out that I’m discovering a dead body.

I may be overreacting but I feel as though there is some quality control and common sense missing when a concerned citizen has to be the one to not only report problems or people in distress, but be sure to carry a full map of where Baltimore City and Baltimore County intersect; of where the exact line between Montgomery County and DC lies, and which part of DC (Penn Quarter, etc.) I am in when I call to ask for help if I give exact street names. Doesn’t it make more sense to ask which block? For a street number? Anything other than, “City or County”/”Are you in Penn Quarter or China Town?”, etc.

A friend reminded me of this oldie when I shared my 911 woes.

Anyone reading this old enough to remember Public Enemy before Flava Flav became even crazier??

“Going going gone
Now I dialed 911 a long time ago
Don’t you see how late they’re reactin’
They only come and they come when they wanna
So get the morgue embalm the goner
They don’t care ’cause they stay paid anyway
They teach ya like an ace they can’t be betrayed
I know you stumble with no use people
If your life is on the line they you’re dead today
Late comings with the late comin’ stretcher
That’s a body bag in disguise y’all betcha
I call ’em body snatchers quick they come to fetch ya?
With an autopsy ambulance just to dissect ya
They are the kings ’cause they swing amputation
Lose your arms, your legs to them it’s compilation
I can prove it to you watch the rotation
It all adds up to a funky situation
So get up get, get get down
911 is a joke in yo town
Get up, get, get, get down
Late 911 wears the late crown

911 is a joke

Everyday they don’t never come correct
You can ask my man right here with the broken neck
He’s a witness to the job never bein’ done
He would’ve been in full in 8 9-11
Was a joke ’cause they always jokin’
They the token to your life when it’s croakin’
They need to be in a pawn shop on a
911 is a joke we don’t want ’em
I call a cab ’cause a cab will come quicker
The doctors huddle up and call a flea flicker
The reason that I say that ’cause they
Flick you off like fleas
They be laughin’ at ya while you’re crawlin’ on your knees
And to the strength so go the length
Thinkin’ you are first when you really are tenth
You better wake up and smell the real flavor
Cause 911 is a fake life saver

So get up, get, get get down
911 is a joke in yo town
Get up, get, get, get down
Late 911 wears the late crown”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s