911 System in Danger and So Are You

911 System in Danger and So Are You
  • 911 infrastructure is getting old and that’s putting lives in danger. 
  • Smartphones are exacerbating the problem.
  • A student in NY died after operators were unable to track his phone.
  • Departments across the country are scrambling to solve the deadly crisis.

(NewsReady.com) – Imagine your loved one is hurt and they call 911. They’re completely incoherent, so the operator has to trace their call. Nothing is coming up on their computer screen. They have no idea where to send first responders. Your family member has passed out and can’t respond any longer. Hours later, they’re found but it’s too late, they’ve passed away. It’s a scenario that nightmares are made of and it’s happening in the United States of America right now.

When 911 Can’t Help

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Yeming Shen died in February 2020 from the flu. He called for help but nobody ever came. The 28-year-old dialed 911 six hours before his body was found but the emergency response system could not find his location.

On January 17, 2008, Denise Amber Lee was kidnapped from her Florida home in Sarasota County. She somehow got her abductor’s phone and called 911. During the six-minute phone call, she answered the dispatcher’s questions by pretending to speak to her captor. They were unable to pinpoint her location. Several other calls were made to the emergency line by other motorists, one was routed to the wrong county. Denise, the daughter of a sheriff’s deputy and mother to toddlers, was murdered that day.

In 2015, Shanell Anderson drove into a Cherokee County, Georgia pond while delivering newspapers. As water filled her car she told a 911 operator over and over again where she was. The dispatcher could not find the location, the line went dead, and the 31-year-old slipped beneath the surface. It turns out the call was picked up by 911 in the next county and it wasn’t discovered for several minutes. When rescuers pulled her out of her car it was too late, she died a few days later from organ failure.

Something Has to Be Done

Those three cases are not the only ones. People are dying because 911 systems across the country have not kept up with technology. The necessary upgrades will cost millions and many communities do not have that on hand.

Congress, however, has the power to right this wrong. The National 911 Program is under the purview of the US Department of Transportation and lawmakers could allocate funding to fix the problem. They’ve been aware of it for years.

Sadly, like many things, there doesn’t seem to be an urgency to protect the lives of the millions who call 911 every year. And until they make it a priority, our lives are all in danger.

~Daily News for Busy People!

Copyright 2020, NewsReady.com


  1. A neighbor had a barn fire. He tried several times to get help, calling 911. After not being able to get anyone, he took off to town. He did finally find someone with the fire department, but it was too late.
    Since then, when the system showed it was unreliable, I’ve gotten other telephone numbers to call for help. I don’t live in a big city, so our Lawmen and Firemen shouldn’t be disbanded.

  2. 911 is failing because idiot cat ladies (and men ) keep calling them for ridiculous reasons like “my alarm clock won’t stop blinking and I can’t figure out how to set the time” 🙄

  3. 911 was a good idea when people still had landlines but with advent of cell phones it has become imprecise at best. It is URGENTLY important that people be aware of their location and circumstances when calling 911 and to cooperate with the 911 operator when calling 911. Unfortunately, too many people think the police should read their minds when they are in a dangerous situation. None of them have mastered that art yet, so it’s best to keep a cool head and THINK when faced with an emergency situation and needing to call 911. Your safety is first and foremost YOUR responsibility!

  4. No system is perfect. NONE of them among our government works perfectly. By asking for upgrades to this system, due to the cell phone issue, what you’re going to get is a bureaucracy that can now locate ANYONE, any time, any where they want. And not for emergency reasons. People would be better off to think for themselves, and ask, “is it a good idea to do what I am doing” …

    Driving into a pond, or driving through a flooded area.

    Article seems awfully like a sales pitch for more money. The thin line dividing privacy from government is getting thinner.

    I’d love to know who wrote this article.

  5. I agree it should be updated. To a degree but it also proves that people rely too much on smartphones. It is sad but true it proves both are flawed. It is two factors not enough operators. And too many calls. At one time the answer is budget cuts. And not enough man power. To cover every emergency. Until they figure a solution it will be flawed. One way or another. Location is also a factor if they too far out it will take longer to respond.

  6. I think I will contact President Trump and ask him to help. I think all who read this should speak to their elected reps and senators, especially since they will be before we the people telling us how much they have done while in Washington.

  7. I know all well that 911 fails to help a lot of people, I was a supervisor in a 911 system and it still falls short of what it was meant to be..I retired in Nov. 1990 and it is still a big problem getting people the help they need. God Bless all the dispatchers who try to do the best they can under the circumstances.

    Judy S

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