I went to Chik fil A to get breakfast a couple of days ago. It was five minutes before they were due to stop serving breakfast and begin serving lunch. I ordered a Sausage biscuit, and they told me that they were out of sausage, and that I could order a chicken biscuit. I didn’t really want chicken, but it is what it is.

I arrived at the window, paid for my food, and when they handed me my order, it was chicken nuggets, not a biscuit. I pointed it out, and that was when they told me they were also out of chicken patties. I was irate. I demanded my money back, and went to Wendy’s just down the street, and ordered lunch instead. When I began to eat, my burger and fries were ice cold.

A dispatcher in training sends ambulances to the wrong address. That happens more frequently than you know. I know that I got sent to the wrong location about once a month or so. Sometimes it is because of an error with the caller. Sometimes, the dispatcher. Sometimes, it is caused by the system.

A good example is Michigan Avenue. There is one in Orange County, and one in Osceola county. If you call from a cell phone, and the tower that is accessed is in one county while you are in the other, the wrong location and the wrong emergency crews will be dispatched.

Or perhaps you called for Orange Avenue instead of Orange Street.

In this case, the caller asked for paramedics to be dispatched to the Ormond Rec Center, when he was actually at the Nova Community Park. He gave the cross street for the correct location, but in making that mistake when giving his location, the dispatcher looked up the correct address for the Ormond Rec Center, was new, and her training officer was busy talking on her cell phone.

A comedy of small errors that added up to a dead victim, who had already collapsed from an apparent heart attack. He probably would have died anyway, but we will never know.

Some say that had the trainer been paying attention, the correct address may have been located. We will never know.

What do we know? We know that fast food workers have gone on strike, demanding that they receive $15 an hour for doing whatever it is that they do. A dispatcher makes less than that. So do the paramedics.

How can we justify paying someone $15 an hour to cook and serve a burger incorrectly, and then demand that dispatchers and paramedics perform their jobs with a zero percent error rate for less money than that?

Categories: Uncategorized

1 Comment

Anonymous · November 14, 2013 at 11:40 am

Check the wrong dispatches for Washington, D.C. DC is 4 quadrants, centered on the Capitol building: NE, SE, SW and NW. It's pretty common to find identical addresses in adjacent quadrants (the number of times 101 Constitution Ave NE and NW get mixed up is legendary). Both 101 Const addresses are only a couple blocks from each other, but when 2105 North Capitol Street goes out as 2105 South Capitol Street that's not just 15 minutes of drive time, it's a completely different responder.

Comments are closed.