Friday, March 09, 2007

Vote "NO" on the 9-1-1 Tax

I am pained to have to put that headline up. Pained because the 9-1-1 emergency system is a vitally important component of public safety. But the City, and City Council have screwed up and the only way to get their attention is to hit them over the head with a two by four and deny them the money they say they want and need.

There is a city ordinance, that I have written about before, that makes calling the 9-1-1 system with a recorded message a misdemeanor criminal offense. What sort of idiot, you ask, would actually enforce such a stupid idea for an emergency medical call, say from a elderly lady with altzheimer's disease? Well, some mid-level city bureaucrat would - and does - and did to my mother no less.

When I asked City Council to remove this so that idiots like the Communication Center would not "do their duty" to actually enforce something so god-awful ... ah, they were just all sympathy and kindness. Actually, they stall a lot. They fooled me this time - I won't be so generous and trusting the next time.

They have referred it to a subcommittee - that hasn't met. Call that what it is - killing the idea.

The City Manager, whose own office doesn't even know that the Communications Center reports to him, is all PO'd at me because I call them idiots. Tough for Crumley -- it comes with the job -- I assume you are actually on the job, arn't you? Since we haven't heard from you since before the ice storm. You are about as visible in this City as Casper.

So, send City Hall a message. No more money for the 9-1-1 system until you quit threatening to haul little old ladies into court and fine them for using it.


Blogger Jack said...

It's not the point, I know, but just to be pragmatic about the whole situation for a minute: Aren't there medical alert services that use real life operators who call 911 for you if you hit your panic button? Wouldn't that fix your problem and keep your mother safe?

That really has nothing to do with your issue with the city and a bad regulation. I was just wondering.

8:01 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger John Stone said...

Jack ... and yes that is what the city wants you to do. Let me point out the three most important things.

Lifeline charges about $30/month for the service ... twice yearly what I paid for her unit ($150) -- recurring indefinitely.

In a real case of an emergency, the Lifeline operator, who is not local -- maybe outsourced to India, or worse, Nixa ... has to look up the number of the various emergency services, and then make a call back to them ... all of which wastes time which could be fatal in a medical emergency.

Lastly, it doesn't prevent one single false alarm (which was the actual purpose of the City Law). No matter what, the ambulance is going to have to make a trip ... to do otherwise would be criminal ... so what's the point of having the third party ... could they answer my mom's plea for help from a necklace pager, no ... could they talk to her like you hear the commercials for On-Star, No ... what's the point?

9:08 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Jack said...

Silly me, I thought the real operator had a real-time communicae with the individual (like Onstar). Have you talked about that on your blog?

Onward and upward with the crusade.

7:25 AM, March 10, 2007  
Blogger John Stone said...

We just did .. and thanks for bringing it up and reminding me.

That's what makes the third party so useless.

8:02 AM, March 10, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home