Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Olidia Kerr Day (part two)

I posted about Olidia Kerr Day the other day and missed some startling tragic details. I heard from Olidia's sister, Olga this morning. Gosh, it gets worse. You can hear the emotions in Olga's words just by reading them. Anyhow, read what she asked me to add. I can't imagine Olidia's last moments. Just as I can't imagine Denise's.

Both thought at some point they would be saved! Both were expecting something from 9-1-1 that they didn't get. Is that 9-1-1's fault? Was it human error? Was it lack of compassion on the call takers parts? Was it the latest technology available not being used? Was it Denise and Olidia not understanding how 9-1-1 works? Could Olidia have been saved? Yes! Could Denise have been saved? Yes!

Fortunately we know that changes are in the works. Representative Ken Roberson is introducing a bill in the Florida State Legislature asking that standards be made "mandatory". Unfortunately the standards and training will not be enforced totally until 2012 and we need those changes now. That's okay, it's a good second step. The Denise Amber Lee Act was the first step. We just got back from Washington DC that was fruitful. The guys just got back from California all pumped up and motivated. And it's true that the majority of 9-1-1 calls ARE handled appropriately. Out in California Mark and Nate said they met many wonderful, conscientious, diligent and dedicated call takers and dispatchers. I'm sure we must have them here in Florida!

But Olidia's and Denise's call takers definitely dropped the ball. Lives were lost.

And with more and more people using cell phones to call 9-1-1 in our increasingly mobile society, we need to use the technology available to us. It's hard to believe you can GPS a coral reef, 30 miles off the coast to go scuba diving, but you can't find a person using a cell phone.

We need to address the problems that need fixing and fix them so that other families do not have to suffer the way our families have. Bad enough having a loved one murdered by a maniac. But then to know they could've been saved and that the police departments will not acknowledge what went wrong and then have them treat you with disdain, well........ it's words can't describe the pain.

see former post: http://toosad4words.blogspot.com/2009/03/olidia-kerr-day.html

This is what Olidia's sister wrote to me this morning:

"...the only thing that I would add is that Olidia eventually remembered the address to the police station, told the operator that she remembered now and to have police outside waiting for her.

How she must have felt when she drove up and not seen anyone, Olidia knew she was going to be murdered and those were her last words "Oh God he is going to kill me".

She was gunned down by the front door of the police station.

It still pains me to remember and I am full of anger by the way that Denise and Olida lost their lives because someone did not care enough to do their jobs correctly.

I understand that Denise's calls were not dispatched either, every time I remember the eyewitness in her case who was following (this should read 'in front of the car') the car I get chills.

What a tragedy! I can't understand how these people are still working for the 911 centers. They should be in jail, I am sorry as you can see I am still angry and I don't know if it will ever go away."