^
Keep New Times Free
4
| El Jefe |

Broward 911: Emergency Help Needs More Help

County leaders declared victory yesterday when Commissioner Sue Gunzburger changed her vote and agreed to a system for funding an emergency calling system.

Problem is, repeatedly over the years, studies have shown these systems don't live up to what they need to be.

"There is no consistency in training, and there is no consistency in the quality of equipment that is used," says Daniel Caplis, a Denver lawyer who specializes in suing municipalities where 911 fails. "Irreparable damage has been done to injured individuals and many lives that could have been saved."

Take the case of Denise Lee, a 21-year-old mother of two who was kidnapped and killed in 2008. Five calls to 911 in Charlotte County were made on the morning of her abduction. Lee even sneaked her attacker's phone and called emergency operators. To no avail. The operators kept asking dumb questions. And they didn't know other operators had answered Denise's call.

You think a countywide 911 system will do better with this sort of thing? Then you don't live in the same South Florida that I do, where big school systems and enormous sheriff's departments repeatedly lose track of detail.

County voters supported a regional system in 2002. And that was a solid step forward in our thinking.

What we really need, though, is not this. We need better, standardized training of 911 operators. Gunzburger's changed position might help us get there. But it is far from the lifesaving measures that we need now. As with much of Broward government, it is too little and far too delayed.



I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.