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Emergencies: The call itself gets the response

Date published: 12/17/2012

Emergencies: The call itself gets the response

The Dec. 5 letter to the editor ["Why the hyper response from Spotsy rescue?"] from Patricia Aubert regarding emergency response teams seems, on the surface, to make sense. Why send so much first-response equipment to a death from natural causes of an elderly person?

My mother passed from the same insidious disease. I called and got the "quiet" response Aubert desired, but I called a funeral home first. Mom had passed so I did not see a reason to phone emergency services. There was no emergency. The funeral folks knew to handle this without alarm.

When someone phones for emergency equipment and personnel, there should be an emergency situation. Additionally, dispatch cannot accept the determinations of a voice on the phone as appropriate evaluation. All calls to emergency response teams get an emergency response. It is up to trained professional to make determinations and evaluations upon arrival, not be directed and managed by the "phone voice." The equivalent would be to phone the police and ask for a quiet officer because there is no violence.

There is automatic protocol that must be followed. Who knows if the voice is correct that the deceased is, in fact, deceased? Certainly not a dispatcher who is not there. Proper procedure was followed for a call to emergency services. When a person calls claiming there is a suspected death, all stops are pulled.

I am sorry about your loved one, Ms. Aubert, and wish you Godspeed. I am certain no one wished to impose on you in an indelicate manner.

Paul Mountjoy