The New Dealer

  • February 7February 2019 Edition

911: A System That Cannot Work 100% Of The Time

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911: A System That Cannot Work 100% Of The Time

Mena Matta, Reporter

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This is not a conspiracy like 9/11, this is a fact about 911, the system that is designed to save lives and protect the American people, is still incapable of doing both 100% of the time. Some may say, “It’s because of the human error of dispatchers,” but the reason behind it is irresponsibility and corruption.

The 911 system, believe it or not, in some states, still relies on technology that existed over a decade ago. In our current decade, you can summon an Uber driver in less than 10 minutes, order a pizza and have it arrive in less than 30  minutes, and share your location to google- so you can receive up-to-date information about bus routes.  All of the mentioned, will happen 100% of the time. However, you won’t receive those perks from calling 911 for a life-or-death situation. It may take even two days for the first responders to find your exact location when you call the hotline. Thats what happened to George Treadaway drowning in Gordon County in Georgia

“Every 30 seconds that is spent on 911 telling them who you are, where you are, what’s going and how to get there, counts toward that golden hour of getting a first responder to you and getting you to a hospital,” said Michael Self, Co-Founder and Chief Architect of LaaSer, a system that is designed to use your phone location capabilities to place accurate 911 calls. Self points out the outdated technology of the 911 system in many states. For an example, a newspaper supervisor, Shanell Anderson, was drowning in her SUV in a lake in Cherokee County in Georgia, but her 911 dispatcher picked up her call and determined the wrong location from the cell tower that was located in Fulton County. The first responders took 25 minutes to find and remove her from the submerged SUV.  She was already dead when they arrived. “Her death was so senseless,” Jacquene Curlee said, Shanell Anderson’s mother. “Our 911 system doesn’t work.”

Not only is the 911 technology outdated, but the system in many regions is very understaffed and underfunded. For example, in New York, there is a $1.20 tax for the 911 system, and it accumulates each year to nearly $185,513,240. However, this is where corruption comes along. Nearly $77,254,288 was diverted to other services instead of incorporating it to improve location accuracy to 911. And the joke here is Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut, three states that neighbor NY State, have the location technology right now, and we do not. So, if you plan to vote for Andrew Cuomo again, think twice. He ignored the situation multiple times while meeting with city officials. Money that can be spent to save lives is stolen from us for other services that, I am sure are not as important as a human life.

Maybe 911 is a joke now, and maybe it’s not, depending on where you plan to move. But in the end, some changes have to be implemented. The technology is out there, but corruption and irresponsibility is preventing it. Thus, destroying our faith in a system that should only save and protect lives.

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911: A System That Cannot Work 100% Of The Time