Once again it’s a case of “something” missing when this dispatcher handles this call – without compassion or sense.
Perhaps it is the organizations leadership that is missing that led to the Chiefs comments that “she didn’t violate policy.”
What’s the policy?
Is there not a policy that requires the dispatcher to get fire, rescue and police units to the “area” rapidly to see what they can see? To sound their horns and sirens so the caller hears them – and so does the call taker so they can say, “Yes, they are near her.”
There are loads of creative ways to help people, and most are outside of “policy” – many heroic acts and so many lives saved are based on good policy, solid training, leadership and the qualified capabilities of the people involved.
No doubt the call taker completely missed an opportunity to make a positive difference to this woman who drowned to death. But a review of their policy on action, response as if it were their own daughter drowning and what they would want done (for their own daughter), is due and will no doubt be done when the victim’s family hired their attorney.
Every 911 call is somebody’s daughter or son. Giving a sh!t is something that can be taught, can be directed in policy and can be found when we hire the right people and train them well for the role of 911 call taker – the real “first” responders.
LISTEN TO THIS AND SHARE IT SO LESSONS CAN BE PROACTIVELY LEARNED
BY OTHER DISPATCH, FIRE, EMS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL.
Not giving a sh!t (unintentional, intentional or just plain cluelessness) about others may be a very real issue in public these days, but it cannot exist in emergency services. There are systems, training and excellent policy that exists to help leaders erase the lack of compassion in their personnel (current and through effective hiring) – it just needs to be a priority and it must be demonstrated daily behavior at all levels with the organization.