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Fix 911, don't make it worse

Published On: May 27 2014 09:37:37 AM CDT
Updated On: May 27 2014 03:36:04 PM CDT
Neil Heinen photo

For the most part we have found the response to WISC Investigative Reporter Adam Schrager’s story on unacceptable wait times before calls to Dane County’s 9-1-1 center are answered to be appropriate to the seriousness of the issue. We believe improvements will be made whether they are protocol changes, technology upgrades, staffing changes or perhaps all of that and more.

Public officials are responding, as they should.

We also believe it is important to keep this story going, to highlight the dangers of the current system as well as efforts to make improvements.

With that in mind we would suggest it is not wise, helpful or safe, to follow the advice of a former 911 dispatcher who told Schrager last week she tells friends that if they need to call 911 to give their address, say it’s an emergency and hang up before any kind of protocol can begin.

Yes, that will trigger and immediate, all-out response - potentially leaving others in need unnecessarily vulnerable. That’s just not right and it’s not smart.

We want this system fixed, the right way, for everybody. That’s not the way to do it.

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