Monday, January 19, 2009

The Herald Tribune 9-1-1 stories

There were several 9-1-1 stories written by Zac Anderson which were published this past Saturday, Sunday and today (Monday).

I think I have them all. See these links:

Critical flaws in Florida's 911 system

911's experience gap

The legacy of Denise Amber Lee

Standards and accreditation at 911 call centers

911 rules are a hard sell

FWIW, I cannot give much incite as to other counties 9-1-1 centers. I have to trust what Mr Anderson has written. I have met Mr Anderson a couple of times and his diligence truly impressed my husband and me. And, believe me, we've met many reporters.

This is a little off topic but I have to say the majority of the reporters I've met, let's say 80%, I have genuinely gotten to like. I think most of them do care and look at us as more than just a story. There is that other 20% that I think are snakes. There's that 80/20 rule. I imagine this to be the case in most industries. You've got nice people, and then you have the "pleasant" but not really so nice people.

I'll lump Zac in with the 80%. He's got to be one of the smartest and most driven reporters I've met. I was truly impressed. And, for him it most definitely was about his story. But, he still was able to express compassion for us as a family. He gave our thoughts and feelings respect.

Also, FWIW, we're not media "whores". Someone said something not so nice to me the other day and I just want to set the record straight. We don't like the spotlight. We have been thrust into a situation that's not comfortable for us. Putting your pain on display the way Nathan has, isn't easy. But he does it. Rick (Goff) does it. I do it. Why? Well, I know why I do it. I do it for Nathan. I'd do anything for Nathan if it was the right thing for him. Same for Brian. But I can only guess as to why Nathan and Rick do it. I guess it's because they (me too) desperately NEVER want to see this happen to another family. Denise fought so hard. To fight the way she did and then to die in vain? It's still seems so surreal to me. We know there will always be mistakes. We know that to err is human. And, we truly can forgive human error. But, we have a very difficult time forgiving people that don't recognize the problems (or worse do recognize the problems) and don't fix them at the expense of loss of life. It just seems unconscionable.

I don't think Mr Anderson was trying to throw anyone under the bus as was said in many comments to his articles. Publishing people's names for mistakes they made in the past, made me a bit uncomfortable but maybe he needed to do that for credibility.

I'm just grateful he wrote the articles. For a while I felt as if I was going crazy because it seemed as if no-one was listening. I feel saddened that Denise's case isn't isolated. It would be so much easier to accept and understand if it was.

When it happened, I had an inkling of "this must happen more than we suspect. We never would have known about it if Ms Kowalski hadn't been so persistant in being heard." I imagined it happening in big cities and small towns. I thought that right away. Imagine the cover ups. I think they're scattered through the country.

The CCSO has absolutely no transparency at all.

So, I'm truly am glad he wrote the articles. He did his research.

I do hope that, if anything, it brings about awareness. And that when future legislation is presented, that maybe this will help sway people's votes into making positive changes in the 9-1-1 industry.

And, FWIW, then I'll stop running on, out of the 4 9-1-1 calls Sarasota County received the night we lost Denise, ALL were handled perfectly. Kudos from us to them.

God bless all call takers and dispatchers, everywhere, with guidance and strength.

Anyone have any ideas of how we can Governor Crist's attention? He's the only person who can insist on an external investigation into what happened in the CCSO 9-1-1 center that night.

You'd think he'd be interested in this! So far, he's ignored our attempts at communication with him.

I'm thinking of starting a petition and going door to door. The only problem with that is, I'd have to tell Denise's story over and over again. How painful would that be? And even if the angels in blue were to do it, it would still be painful for them as well. They never met Denise but they've grown to love her.

I hate the idea of email. Because, it's cold and I don't know if email petitions are taken as seriously as hand signed petitions. Maybe at future events we should have a petition clip board and carry it wherever we go.

I'm just starting to think (not aloud) but as I type. Same thing.

Oh! several people have asked about the picture at the top right of the blog. Ben, Tammy's ( husband took it. Mark was very upset over the gray hair. So, I'll be doing something about that tomorrow. Still, I think it's a great pic because it expresses exactly how I was feeling.

Much love and peace to all. And thank you, Zac Anderson, for bringing light to this issue.