Some dumb jury will probably find Saulk Villiage liable.
Most people have no ideas that cell phones are actually little two-way
radios that connect to the phone system somewhere.
If they guy had had any sense about this he would have said, "I am in
Saulk Villiage and think I am having a heart attack." Or, if he had
not been alone, it would have been different ... and so on and so forth.
Folks think wireless phones are wireline phones. Of course, some of
us semi-techies thing VoIP phones are also wireline phones, which they
most decidedly are not.
Marcus Didius Falco wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 10 2005 18:00:00 PST Patrick Townson
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> > wrote about:
> Man Dies Waiting for 911 to Arrive
>> -- Suit alleges dispatcher let man die in car --
>> This story from our TD-Extra pages tells of a man with a cellular
>> phone registered in Dyer, Indiana (where he lived) who died in
>> his car (and was found in the car dead a few weeks later) in a
>> parking garage in Saulk Village, Illinois. Saulk Village (a far
>> south suburb of Chicago) sits on the Illinois/Indiana state line
>> right 'across the street' from Dyer, Indiana. It appears the 911
>> dispatcher for Saulk Village (area code 708)did not know why she
>> was getting a call from an area code 219 number. The man called
>> from his automobile saying he thought he was having a heart attack;
>> the 911 dispatcher did not deal with it correctly. The man died
>> while waiting for an ambulance to show up (it never did show up)
>> and several weeks later they found his body in his car where it
>> had been parked. The family is suing the Village of Saulk Village
>> for damages.
>> See the full story at:
> This certainly can happen, but, IMnotsoHO, it's the fault of the 911
> operator. I often get 911 connections from the wrong operator -- the
> wrong county or even the wrong state. (And a 911 operator certainly
> can't assume the location of a cell phone from its area code!) In my
> opinion, once the operator figures out where I am -- or at least that I
> am not in his/her jurisdiction, I am relatively quickly transferred to
> the 911 operator in the correct jurisdiction, even if it's in a
> neighboring state. After all, when we're near a boundary we have no
> control over which tower will pick up our signal.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Yeah, the 'dumb jury' *should* find for
the plaintiff, IMO. The 911 dispatcher should never leave a call
abandoned merely because she does not know what to do or where the
call was coming from. They have ways to hold the line open and get the
answers they need, or at the very least, locate the tower where the
call came through. Whatever happened to the plan that E-911 was going
to be able to locate mobile callers within a distance of several feet?