In my line of work as a 911 operator, I get a variety of calls requesting ambulances. A lot of those calls come from nursing homes requesting transport to the local hospitals. However, I need to treat each call as if it is of life and death importance. Unfortunately, there are calls that come in that are true emergencies and as a calltaker, I become the first responder, taking control of the situation until a unit arrives on scene.
As the winter months approach us, the calls for falls increases. Not only are people slipping and falling on the ice and snow, but they are also falling off of roofs because they are shoveling off snow to prevent roofs collapsing from the weight of the snow. Any falls of six feet and greater are considered “long falls” and tend to have more serious injuries. It is not unusual for dispatch to call up the medic evac helicopter and put them on standby in case of a trauma alert being called on a long fall call.
To avoid all the drama and expense that a simple fall can cause, why not contact a local contractor such as D.R. Hartman Construction if you’re in the Bethesda, MD area to come out and have a look at your roof. Save yourself a lot of hassle and have the experts look at it.
Of course, not all the 911 calls are for ambulances. There are the occasional calls for the fire department and the never ending calls for law enforcement. Rain, snow, and foul weather see a substantial increase in 911 calls for traffic accidents. It is not unusual to receive fifty or more calls for a single accident that occurred on a major highway. Then there are the cases of family feuds because Bubba just can’t seem to get along with Billy Bob and they’re trapped in the same house because of the bad weather. Domestic violence calls are the worst calls for law enforcement officials. Not only are they the most dangerous but it is likely that they will be responding to that address several times for the same situation.
As every 911 operator does, I have my truly memorable phone calls. Ones that bring sadness and heaviness of heart and some that bring a smile to your face because someone has done something and the end result is certainly justified. There are also those calls that you just roll your eyes and say to yourself, “People!…really now. Come on!” Just like the call I took today from a person who was upset that the polling place wasn’t open. When I explained to him that he needed to call the elections office and that 911 was for life and death emergencies, his reply was that it was a life and death emergency because he needed to vote because he was losing his house and this was causing him high blood pressure.
I write all of this to say that if you ever need to call 911, please do not hesitate to do so. We are available to assist you with that emergency. 911 centers expect increases in calls during foul weather. We just ask that you try not to make your call a memorable one to the calltaker.