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View Diary: Charles M. Blow has some questions for us to consider (27 comments)

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  •  sorry but I have been instructed when calling 9-11 (8+ / 0-)

    in two different circumstances

    in the first, i saw people get out of an unmarked truck, wall around my neighbor's house, go back to the truck then go into her house.  The dispatcher told me to stay where I was (inside my own house), wait for the officers to arrive and then go out and meet them.

    In the second, when I called in a vehicle that was driving erratically that had just gone off the road, I was asked if I were still on site.  When I said that I was, I was told to remain in my car, that officers would respond within 2 two minutes.  

    The first took place in Arlington VA in 1984.

    The second took place in Pennsylvania, in Chester County, last year.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:33:33 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely, it is quite common (6+ / 0-)

      for a 911 operator to give instructions. If it involves a potential crime, they will commonly tell the caller not to get directly involved, police are on the way.

      They'll give medical instructions- from basic first aid to telling people to perform CPR while they wait for EMS to arrive. They'll even walk you through delivering a baby in an emergency.

      •  According... (0+ / 0-) the sworn testimony of the very dispatcher who made the "we don't need you do that" comment, it was not an order because dispatchers are not allowed to give orders in their jobs. I would assume policies and training for dispatchers would vary area by area (and, maybe, even by "emergency" vs. "non-emergency" calls -- of which this was the latter).

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