Monday, January 19, 2009

911 Dispatchers vs. Teachers

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune ran a series of articles about the inadequacies of the 911 system, particularly here in FLA.

It came on the one-year anniversary of the murder of Denise Amber Lee, which highlighted a failure of the various emergency systems to effectively communicate with one another. It also highlighted how one or more of the dispatchers in Charlotte County dropped the ball when they were given first-hand, real-time information regarding her kidnapper prior to her murder. Apparently, it was at the end of a shift and, since it wasn't anybody they knew personally, the two women just forgot about it and went home instead of taking care of business. You know, the business of saving lives......

Never fear, though, the Charlotte County Sheriff suspended them for a couple days and pronounced everything OK, so it's all good now. Except for that pesky lawsuit that the victim's husband is working on. And except for the two young kids of this murdered woman. And except for her husband. And except for the rest of her friends and family. But, other than that, I mean, everything's OK.

I always like reading the comments about various articles in the Trib. (How many other newspapers give you a chance to comment on every article posted in the online edition?) Well, as expected, the 911 dispatchers were up in arms about someone--probably anyone--questioning how they do their jobs, to wit:

Posted Jan 19 2009 08:18 AM
Really?!? Seriously?!? This was your ending?? You bash the hell out of us and this is all you could come up with to end your full of crap story??? WOW!! You know working for the 911 center isn't an easy job and yes some people aren't cut out for it. Dispatchers are human and humans make mistakes. These people were disciplined. Hence the way you got your information. Had they not been, and the information put in their files you wouldn't have been able to bash these people. I feel for the Lee family. I hope they do get whatever they are lobbying for passed. Did you bother to stop and ask someone about the scared, elderly woman/man home alone they sat and talked to, kept calm and reassured help was on the way until help arrived?? You did SOME research but only the research that bashed us and made us look like morons that can't do our jobs and made the public hesitant to call 911 in a real emergency for fear they won't get the help. Thanks for that by the way. We owe you one!!
Sit in our seat for a few hours and see if you can do this job. Oh might have to come out from behind your cushy desk job and actually do some real work. I hope no one in your family ever needs to call 911, because according to your article(s) they won't get it.

Posted Jan 19 2009 10:56 AM
I totally get it now.... we spent two days waiting to see who would be thrown under the bus next not realizing that it was all so that on the final day your could praise Sarasota as if they lead the way in 9-1-1 technology and training. Again, we have the SAME standards in Manatee that Sarasota has.

In this six months of research did you pull Sarasota's employees files all the way back to the 80's?? If you say you didn't find anything in their files that you could have printed you are absolutely full of crap.

These articles could have really been productive. They could have brought about change. You've just incited fear with your biased reporting.

I vote next time Mrs. Lee and her son write these articles. They really have the best interest of the community in mind and want to help people. At least they won't be worried about how many damn newspapers they sell.

SHT should be ASHAMED they ran this.


Who knew the 911 dispatchers would get as pissed off as teachers do when somebody questions their effectiveness??

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