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Calling 911

An incident in Leschi this summer made us aware that our community has some unique problems: streets that suddenly end and pick up elsewhere, streets that curve around and change names, streets that have many personae such as Blvd, Ave. or Ct.

A resident collapsed, his wife called 911 and went outside to flag down the fire truck when she heard the siren. The fire truck barreled right by her! A man with a pickup quickly grasped what was happening and chased down the fire truck. Before we go any further, be assured that the man was taken to the hospital; he did have a heart attack but has recovered. What could have been fatal worked out this time.

In researching this incident through the Fire Department, it was discovered that the responding crew was not our usual crew from Fire Station 6 and they were unfamiliar with this area. If our local crew is already on a call, this can happen. The spokesman for the Fire Department said the best thing one can do is make sure the house number is prominently displayed and give the best directions you can to the dispatcher.

At the August 2013 East Precinct meeting, 911 was the topic. This incident was described and the 911 trainer said that calls which require a response from the Fire Department are forwarded to them once the dispatcher clarifies the situation.

The spokesman said that the dispatchers will prioritize calls as they come in.

Once life threatening situations are dispatched to appropriate responders, the police calls are prioritized in this sequence:

  1. Crime in progress

  2. Crime just occurred

  3. Suspicious circumstances