Is it normal to dispatch to the address that shows up on the 911 computer rather than where the live person tells you to go?
Saturday night, my wife and I were coming home from our walk and she asked me, "Is that someone yelling 'Help'?" We went back outside and could hear someone yelling from about a block away. We don't have cell-phones so we stationed our teenage daughter on the porch with a phone and took off running following the yells.
I found an 84 year old man who had fallen and rolled under a car. He asked me to pull him out, but I suspected he had at least a broken hip and a broken shoulder or arm. I didn't want to move him so I yelled for our daughter to call an ambulance. She called and told them to come to the apartment complex we were at.
What I didn't realize was one of the paramedics lives in the aparment complex where the man was down. The medic came out of his apartment and was preparing to leave for the ambulance base and then go to our house when I spoke to him. Fortunately he had the sense to realize two simultaneous calls in our little town would be unusual. He asked "Anyone know what's going on at (our address)?" I told him nothing was going on there we had called for the gentleman in his complex.
He got on the radio and tried to get dispatch to tell his partner not to wait for him, but just to bring the ambulance to the apartment complex. I don't think the dispatcher ever figured it out. Finally, he got ahold of his partner direct and told him where to come.
I'm just trying to figure out why the dispatcher sent out the call as our address rather than the location my daughter told her. Any ideas?
PS. All police (there were 2 city units and 1 county - slow night), EMT's and paramedics that came to the scene were courteous and professional.
The info that comes up on the ANI/ALI screen is usually verified by the call taker. If no exact address is known where the incident is, we will usually send the companies to the caller address and ask them to point out the address where the help is needed. This saves time and prevents the emergency equipment from driving around the area.
The other reason may be the relay of info. When asked to verify where your daughter was did she give your home address for the location of the problem?? In emergencies people who are not LEO or FF can and do relay incorrect info to the 911 center.
And finally, the dispatcher may have read the call incorrectly or the call taker may have entered the info wrong.......dispatchers are people too and can make mistakes.
Hope this answers your questions.
I know what my daughter was TOLD to tell the dispatcher, but I don't know what the dispatcher was told. Now I've found out she actually had our 13yo neighbor make the call. Knowing that, I'm surprised the units were dispatched to the right county.