Posted On: Wednesday - May 30th 2018 5:05PM MST
In Topics:   US Police State  Curmudgeonry  Artificial Stupidity
It's mid-week already, and I'm just getting around to this last post in this series about "First Responders!". There are posts on the specific types, the Firemen, the Emergency Medical "Technicians", the Cops, and the internal corporate ones. This post title was written just to distinguish "nine-one-one" the phone number from the all pervasive "nine-eleven" the date. (Was it a coincidence, as the emergency code number was already ubiquitous then, or did people responsible plan that for ease of remembrance?)
The "curmudgeonry" tag is attached, because, yeah, I know, 3 easy digits is much more rememberable than 3 or 4 five to seven digit phone numbers written on the wall in the hall. "Why the wall in the hall?" "Cause that's where the phone was, ya' big dummy!" However, it's not so much the single code that's the problem. It's a bit too modern and bureaucratic, but the main problem beyond the bureaucracy of it is the Deep-State spying and tracking aspect of the whole 9-1-1 setup. As I've mentioned once, it's time for the Peak Stupidity blog to put out some posts on the whole 1984 Stasi-wet-dream-like spy network that is set up in the country (and lots of the world) today. That'll have to come sooner or later, but back to the subject.
There have been less than a full handful of times I've called 911 or another old-fashioned, what we called emergency phone number. Two involved people that were hurt fairly badly. In the first of these, this was a few years before the time that GPS units were in ANY ground vehicles and probably not in any airplanes but a few military ones at that time. Keep in mind, even though the satellite system had been up for a few years, there was a long period in which precision of the information for position calculations was deliberately inhibited to enable only the US military to use it (when the time came I guess). I cannot remember the term, but this was curtailed at least 15 years back, enabling the devices in ground vehicles to have all kinds of features ("Wait, do a u-turn here, you passed Chick-Fil-A! You like Chick-Fil-A, as you've been there 2 times already this week at about this same time. Yes, WE KNOW, and we're telling other people too, cause they pay us to.")
I am sure that the drivers of the "First Response" (term not in use then, thankfully) vehicles did have great knowledge of their areas of operation, but in this case the location where this lady was hurt was in a short section of a road, just 100 yards or so from a main road across which the same road winded around a couple of miles. I'd given the dispatch lady the address first. "Which way are you coming from? Don't go the wrong way on XXXX street. Go on the short dead-end side. It's a left if you're coming from ... " "Sir! Don't panic. We have all the information. Stay calm." "Hey, I'm just saying, it's hard to see this short part of the road ..." "Sir! We have this under control. Calm down." I had been calm, but I was not getting any damn calmer.
6-8 minutes later (not too bad) there comes the ambulance, and I went outside to see it take a turn up the long end of that road. It got quieter then louder again, after it's probably-illegal u-turn, and got to me standing outside at the driveway about 3 minutes later. "Where is she?" "What the fuck is wrong with you people? I told your lady you needed to go on the dead-end part of this road! Why can't she learn to listen?" "Ummm... don't panic, where the lady?" She was OK the next day at the hospital, but I was kind of sour on these "First Responders" at a young age. (And you wonder why I've written 6 posts!)
A few years later, when there was GPS around - not really sure if the ambulances were using it yet), a guy got hurt pretty bad at a work site. It was an impact thing, and I was heading to the phone (yes, on some wall or pole!) almost before it happened. This place was out in the country a ways, close to a highway but off of a dirt road with no sign - keep that in mind for this next engaging conversation: "What is the address? That's all we need." I had to ask, because out in the country, it ain't all about addresses, but even if they had a GPS, that address would not get them there in those days. "YY,YYY XXXXXXX highway, you know highway # ZZ" "OK, they'll be there soon. Don't Panic!" "No, make sure they go past the AAAAA plant and take a left on the next dirt ..." "We have the address, sir." "This is out in the country, asshole, just let me give you directions. It's a dirt road and there's no mailbox." "Sir, we've got it." "Hey, look for 4 guys by the road - one has bright yellow hair." I hung up on the guy. We sent 4 guys 1/4 mile away to the big road.
Yes, they saw the guy with the bright yellow hair and made the turn. In case the reader is wondering, it was kind of a phase I guess, the brightly-died hair, I mean ... either a phase in the late 1990's or a phase for that one guy, I dunno... very helpful in this instance. Oh, the guy who got hurt was young and otherwise healthy, so after a month in the hospital, no problemo.
I just resent the arrogance and the assumption by some of the stupid bastards/bitches (in places such as the pic above) that everyone in some panicky dumb-ass who is not trying to help. They should put these people through a year at call centers, cold-calling Eskimos to sell refrigerators, or anything to me, in order to beat in some listening skills, before letting them get on the phone like this.
Lots of thing WERE better back in the day, so it's not just a disdain for change I've got. Back before the incidents described above, I called the fire department about the weeds/trees on fire pretty close to our house. You just dialed the number, is what you did, and I got a perfectly reasonable guy on the line. "Yeah, it's pretty close to the house now.". We'd been spraying water from the hose all over near the edge of the lawn. "OK, we'll send a couple of trucks out." "OK straight up # ZZ highway until ..." "Got it." They brought 4 trucks and seemed to having a blast using them too. They seemed almost too calm, in fact, as we joked about later. We were not quite that calm, mainly because we were the ones that had accidentally started the fire, and our parents were going to get home fairly soon.