Calif. officials to fix how dispatchers rank 911 calls
'I just don’t see how someone who is vomiting is in more dire straits than someone who is shot,' said a paramedic who wishes to remain anonymous
NBC Bay Area
ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. — Alameda County is changing the way dispatchers prioritize 911 calls after the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit discovered a potentially dangerous flaw in the current emergency medical response system.
Veteran paramedics and data reviews by the Investigative Unit have exposed that emergency calls for shootings, stabbings and penetrating traumas are often given a lower priority status than calls for patients who are vomiting, intoxicated or simply feeling clammy.
“I just don’t see how someone who is vomiting is in more dire straits than someone who is shot,” said an experienced paramedic who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of being fired. “I am afraid for anyone who needs help in the 911 system.”