A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thank You For Calling 911, Your Call Is Important To Us - Please Remain on the Line

So I'm home with the kids and my husband is taking a much deserved daddy rest at the movies when, suddenly my home is filled with the screaming of the fire alarm. A quick peak into the hall tells me it's the BUILDING alarm going off so I call 911 to summon the appropriate parties. You know "Hello, please send firetrucks" that sort of thing.
I dial. AND I GET PUT IN QUEUE. That's right. 911 is UNDERSTAFFED and I'm on hold.
Thank God I wasn't bleeding to death or about to lose consciousness.

Then, when Miss Helpful 911 Operator gets on the line she asks me if I can please move away from the fire alarm because it's hurting her ears. I tell her AGAIN no, I have nowhere to go - ALL the alarms are going off I can't get away from them and PLEASE JUST SEND THE FIRETRUCKS THANKS SO MUCH.

Now, ummm. I've got like approximately 20 years of callcenter experience under my belt so I realize I've got an advantage on you OH WAIT NO I DO NOT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO HAVE PROFESSIONALS RUNNING THOSE CENTERS......

So here, in a nutshell is what 911 needs.

Some Avaya switches. Several. Big ass Avaya switches with shitloads of bells and whistles. Pay the money. It is worth it.
All call routing should take place in the cloud. That this means to the laymen is that call routing would take place to the most available agent, vs to your local 911 which might be busy. Your call can effectively be answered by an agent ANYWHERE across the country who can THEN dispatch the appropriate first responder in your community based on the address databases which exist in 911. They can communicate any pertinent info TO those emergency response teams.
Cell phone calls can have those same teams dipatched based on their GPS if the phone HAS that technology.
It isn't brain surgery.

It would be, though, like reinventing a really wobbly wheel and replacing it with a racing slick. Efficiency. Twenty Four Hours a day Seven Days a Week.

911, get your shit together. I needed you. Thank god it was only some idiot pulled the fire alarm this time. How many people with REAL EMERGENCIES are getting fucked over by your total lack of organization?

Technology from the early 90s would make you an unstoppable force of lifesaving.
Why don't you have it?


Avery Gray said...

Glad to know you didn't die in a blazing inferno while listening to Muzak. That would not have been good.

tee said...

The way 911 works is that if they get a lot of calls from the same area( ie your building), they assumme their calling about the same thing, that's probably why you didn't get through right away. its actually more effective so that they can handle emergencys they don't know about and not have to hear about ones they have already responded too 25 times.

Big Bad Bob said...

Hey tee, while 911 can tell what area that you're calling from that is not why people are on hold. She wasn't talking about after the call was answered, she was talking about before. Switches don't work that way. If you had bothered to pay attention to Gidge when she said that she has run call centers and their switches for 20 years, you would realize that she knows what she is talking about. All call centers are switched the same way, regardless of whether or not we are talking about retail sales or government agenies. Sorry, hope this doesn't sound rude - not my intention.