Residents of New York are probably all too familiar with sirens. Ambulances
and police cars are the first responders to a fender bender or a car accident.
With a total population of over 8 million people, it is no surprise that
these occurrences are frequent. With the propensity of them occurring,
however, residents rely on the people manning the 911 banks to be quick
A recent tragedy has left a family in mourning and most of the city questioning
how easily that tragedy could find them. During the summer, a 4-year-old
girl and her grandmother were struck by a young, careless and apparently
unlicensed driver. The police on the scene quickly relayed the message
to a New York police dispatcher, whose job it was to alert the EMS.
Here is where the stories diverge. For months, the dispatcher maintained
that she never saw any such message, which is why for four crucial minutes,
an ambulance was not dispatched. An investigation that was ordered and
carried out by the city determined that the message had in fact been on
the dispatcher's screen.
A total of four minutes had already passed. Another four minutes would
pass before an ambulance would arrive at the scene. Seven more minutes
would pass before the ambulance would arrive at the hospital with the
little girl and her grandmother, at which point the girl would be pronounced dead.
Authorities were still investigating the driver who caused the car accident.
The family may already have a wrongful death suit against him under New
York law for his negligent actions. Authorities have already determined
that he was driving without a license; they are likely working to determine
if drugs or alcohol contributed to the tragedy as well. Pursuing compensation
to ease the financial burden brought on by the tragedy may ease some of
the stress they are experiencing. What will not change is the fact that
the family is left with a huge void where this little girl once was.
Source: nydailynews.com, Ariel Russo car crash probe reveals widespread human error
to blame for deadly delay, not 911 system problems, George B. Smith, Dec. 19, 2013