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911, A Joke???

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  • 911, A Joke???

    Me and my friend and his girlfriend were just getting off of route 3 and onto 21 into Newark, NJ. We hit a stop sign and infront of us across the street is a guy standing in front of what appeared to be his car crashed into a van. There was no cops around or anything. So I tell my friend to pull up and ask him if anybody is hurt and if he has called 911. he says "no" and we told him will call. So we park and my friend dials on his cell phone and I couldn't believe the wait we had just for them to pick up. It must have been at least a 15 minute wait for them to answer! But they finally did and they forwarded us to the police department. The weird thing about this whole scenario was when we asked the guy if anybody was hurt he told us that the two people that were in the van just got out and ran. So we figured the van was stolen. We waited there for the police but they never showed up! so I duno what happened after that. But i cant believe the wait we had to get in contact with 911. it was ridicules

  • #2
    When you say that you had to wait 15 minutes, was it ringing for 15 minutes? That almost makes me think there was a problem with your cell phone provider...I am a 911 dispatcher & I just cant imagine a phone ringing for that long. I dispatch for a town of approx 150,000 people, I can't speak for a larger agency (I don't know how busy that center is). I do know that police response time depends on the priority of the call. It sounds like you were in a rural area. In our county, state patrol responds to all accidents outside of the city. They may have 2 troopers on total for the entire county. They could both be on accidents that involve injurys or higher priority calls that bump a non-injury accident to the bottom of the list. People always call us & get angry at response time, but they don't look at the big picture. I was in the hospital once with a sprained ankle waiting for HOURS, they told me a great quote that I will always remember "its not who's first, its who's worse".

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    • #3
      In California, the 911 for cell phones is handled by the CHP....

      It's not unusual to:

      Ring ring and ring forever
      Answered by an auto attendant and place on hold
      Hung up on (hopefully by accident)
      Transferred to the wrong agency

      [ 03-03-2002: Message edited by: occiferdave ]

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      • #4
        I have to agree. The cell phone 911 call makes a lot of difference in response time. As well as the nature of the call. you should have called back again after fiftenn minutes to get an eta or something.
        Oh... Oh... I know you di-int!

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        • #5
          The problem we have here is that, when you dial 911 on your cell phone, sometimes you will get the 911 center for a different county. If you don't know where you are then the dispatchers will have trouble getting help going in the right direction.

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          • #6
            I had to call 911 one time when a female friend of my sons was being held in her apartment by her psycho-ex-boyfriend. He had found out about David dating her and called to threaten my son. He was't home but something didn't seem right. I asked to speak to Kim but he refused to put her on the phone. I told him if she didn't, I was caling the police. He finally put her on and she was crying and I said, "Do I need to call the police." SHe hesitated and I said, "Pick a # between 1 and 5 if I need to call the police. "She said, "5" so I hung up and called 911.
            I know they are very busy but I was frightened. I explained tht they would have to MAKE her put her on the phone. The dispatcher stopped me before I could say that he wouldn't put her on the phone for me. She got so nasty and said, "Mam, I KNOW how to do my job." I said, "Look, she really scared and so am I." I have her the address and she said,"OK, I will report it but, Mam, I DO know how to do my job." I wasn't in anyway insinuating she didn't. I just wanted her to know he was very uncooperative. I just hung up.
            He left before the police came, of course. But it sure soured me on 911.
            But, when my son was hurt at age 10, I had to call 911. He had been hit by another friend on a bike and fell and hit his head on the road. It knocked him out and he was just laying in a pool of blood. I left my husband with him and ran and called 911. I really was almost hysterical. I screamed the information ointo the phone and she was so nice to me. She said, "He got hit by a BICYCLE?" I told her YES, Yes, Yes. She said, "Someone is on their way already." I thanked her. By the time I got back outside, many neighbors were there. David had been covered with a blanket and Al was holding his hand.
            The EMT's couldn't have been more wonderful nor could 911. I was so appreciative. They must have been used to basktcase mothers. lol

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            • #7
              That is too bad you had a snotty dispatcher, that doesn't help the situation or make you feel confident that you are getting the help you need. I know there are a few of them out there (worked with a few!). Before I ever became a dispatcher, I called 911 to report an accident...the dispatcher was totally rude & said that they already knew about it. Little did I know, they get about 100 cell calls for every accident! Still, I try to make them feel good about calling. If they are in a stressful situation, the last thing they need is someone being a hag to them on the phone!

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              • #8
                Yea, it was ringing for 15 minutes. We finally got somebody and like i said they forwarded us to the police. we told them exactly where we were and the police never showed up! but im not really that suprised cause whoever lives in jersey knows that newark is probably the center of most crime.

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                • #9
                  When i was 18 I had gone with my mom and sister to the mall and we were going to park near an ATM. As we pulled into the parking space some one said thats funny that man has a jacket wraped around his head ( 2PM 95 degrees sunny day) well it turns out he must have been doing something bad cause his buddy pulled the car around to block me in. being how they were stupid crooks i just pulled out the front of the space. well i saw a pistol in the guys waist band as he jumped into the car with his buddy so my mom called 911 on my cell and they talked to us while we were being chased by these guys. the speeds got rediculous and for once i was praying to see a cop; no luck finally lost them and it took 34 minutes for an officer to arive. and i still wondr why it took so long. our exact location was given to the operator we gavbe descriptions of the guys, the car, the fact that they were armed and even had time for some chit chat it was a nightmare. i hope i am never put in that situation again a 30 minute 911 response time. but in all fairness the resources of the city were strapped.

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                  • #10
                    I've worked places where it was not at all unheard of for non-injury accidents to wait for over an hour.

                    All the "non-emergency" calls would wait for hours while all of the cars were busy handling other complaints.

                    Like someone said, "it's not who is first, it's who is worst." You may be on the way to a non-injury accidnet call that has been holding for 45 minutes, then you get a call to an assault in progress call. Guess which one you go to first.

                    I don't know how to explain a 9-1-1 call ringing for 15 minutes before being picked up.

                    But as far as slow response time... I've seen plenty of it.

                    You can thank the politicians who refuse to approve funding for more officers, more overtime, more cars, and more equipment.

                    And to a great extent, you can also often thank the administrators who seem to be able to find the need for more and more administrative positions while the patrol units remain short handed and overworked then blamed for lack off results.
                    -Sparky

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Silverbullet18:
                      ///SNIP/// So I tell my friend to pull up and ask him if anybody is hurt and if he has called 911. he says "no" and we told him will call. So we park and my friend dials on his cell phone and I couldn't believe the wait we had just for them to pick up. It must have been at least a 15 minute wait for them to answer! But they finally did and they forwarded us to the police department. The weird thing about this whole scenario was when we asked the guy if anybody was hurt he told us that the two people that were in the van just got out and ran. So we figured the van was stolen. We waited there for the police but they never showed up! so I duno what happened after that. But i cant believe the wait we had to get in contact with 911. it was ridicules

                      - I don't know how cellular routing of emergency calls work in other states or NJ, but where i work in IL; all cell calls for emergencies in Dupage County are supposedly routed through the Sheriffs Office who attempt to make the correct transfer to the proper agency. You can't just dial 911 from a cell phone in IL because it won't work. You have to dial *999 which gets you a service called Connor Emergency who will attempt to make the proper transfer rather than the sheriffs office. Plus, being in a rural area probably didnt help due to the lack of cell sites they usually don't have.

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                      • #12
                        I don't think Newark is very rural. I'd go look up the population, but I'm too lazy.
                        Law abiding citizens sleep peacefully in their beds solely because dedicated men and women stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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                        • #13
                          I might be misinterpreting the original post, but if this was a non-injury hit and run, I wonder why 911 was even called at all?

                          911 is for emergencies: "I just got stabbed," "My dad is having a heart attack," etc.

                          I would probably program the non-emergency phone number for your local police department and the NJ State Police as well. Just a thought...you won't get quicker service, but you'll probably keep the 911 lines open for more serious emergencies.
                          Officer, I borrowed these pants!

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