Corrections to 911 Topic

Oh where to begin? Jesse and Andrew did an acceptable job this week, but it killed me to not be there to correct them. Here are a few things I want to clear up about the 911 topic. Hopefully after reading this you will know the truth, but hopefully it will not deter you from calling 911 in the case of an ACTUAL emergency.

First let’s tackle Jesse’s idea that he wants to instagram his attack. He would not be able to pick an appropriate filter and hashtag before the ax-wielding maniac comes bursting through the door and into his skull. This is NOT an admission of guilt. If Jesse is killed by an ax, it wasn’t me! However, let’s say for argument’s sake that Jesse DID happen to get his instagram video off in time, hashtags and all. Now you have to hope one of his 800 followers (#HumbleBrag) will call 911. First, you have to deal with the bystander effect. Everyone who saw the video may think that they saw it much later than it was actually posted. They might also think that they were not the first one to see it and the person who DID see it first called. Now, let’s say that people did see it and they did want to get involved. Well, if Jesse was messing around this is now an FCC violation for inciting panic, which Instagram would not want to be responsible for. Then if you did have all 800 followers call (minus the bots), then you would crash the system or at least busy the lines.

911 sadly is not always a government RUN agency. There is a difference between a government RUN facility and a government REGULATED facility. 911, especially in big cities, is usually run by a business. The government pays them for a service and in turn taxes us for that service. Technically I guess we can say we do pay their salary, but it’s like saying you bought booze for a party when you actually gave the money to your older brother. Obviously because cash is changing hands so many times, and because the government is involved, the latest and greatest uses of technology is not being implemented. Sure, we could use GPS to get someone’s location, but what about someone like me who does not keep GPS enabled on their phone to save battery life. Sure, we could get video or a picture, but if you’re already complaining about how much an ambulance ride costs, why would they activate your data plan every time you call? Plus, it’s GPS, and anyone who’s turned on their phone while not on WiFi has seen that the GPS takes time to calibrate.

Speaking of ambulances, they are different from paramedics and they are not a government agency. The way an ambulance works is that whichever company is the closest gets the call. This is where a layer of controversy weighs in. If a company paid a government agency to get all the calls routed to them, that would be conspiracy, but if a private 911 center gets paid to see if a certain ambulance company is closer than another, is that illegal? These drivers are supposed to post up where they can and catch Zs on a 24 hour shift. Why do they do this? Think about your work day shift. How many people would you have to hire do cover 24 hours at 8 hours each plus lunches? Instead you can hire 6-9 people to cover that same time. As for their cost? It’s a private company that offers you a ride and offers medication. It’s like the worst in flight service ever. Think about a plane. Every time you turn down a drink or a pillow or complimentary peanuts, do they refund you a few cents? No, you play for the availability, and trust me, a some of those medications EMTs can give you cost quite a bit. This is where insurance kicks in. Now can you refuse the service? Yes, if you REALLY can, if you are conscious enough and are deemed of sound mind and body, but get serious, if an ambulance is called, are you really gonna be ok?

Paramedics, Fire Departments and Police are all indeed, government agencies paid by tax dollars. Paid year round, and you may never use them. Your taxes pay them like you pay your insurance…well, the world’s shittiest insurance. What your taxes pay for is really just the availability of these services. They will come out for free, cops more than most, but if you keep calling them, it will cost you. Your portion of taxes that go to these people do not cover the mount of fuel and water it takes that big ass vehicle to run red lights and save your cat. Speaking of water, that’s another thing you may have to pay for. The government can say, “OK, truck shows up free, you get pulled out free, we ax through your door free, but the water? That’ll cost you.” The amount of water spilled onto a car you know will burn is crazy, but we still have to do it, and someone has to pay for it.

But before you start bitching about how YOUR tax dollars pay for it all, try and remember: These services are paid for in property taxes. Don’t own property, you don’t pay. Don’t own property in that county, none of your tax money will pay, don’t live in that state on a regular. You definitely will not have one cent go to that water except for maybe a percentage of sales tax that you used to buy an Aquafina bottle.

Do I agree that this is the way emergency services should run? No, I really wish they were better controlled and their book keeping be better, but if you ever go inside an ambulance that hasn’t been retired, it is always less than 5 years old, has all the latest equipment and is very heavily regulated. As always, if you have a problem with this, follow the money. Look into where your taxes go. See who has a big paycheck to give the permit out to the guy who has the fastest truck who will maybe one day save your life.