May 17

Should You Call Uber In An Emergency?

How good, or bad, is your 911 system? When you have an emergency you want a human voice to answer not a recording to put you on hold. Worse, is when they can’t find you. This has never happened to me, thank the FSM. It has happened to way too many people across the country and it has cost some their lives.

“Even the Domino’s app can tell where you are”: John Oliver unpacks deadly deficiencies at 911 dispatch centers
Brendan Gauthier, Salon

It’s not enough for John Oliver to save journalism. Now he has to save lives, too.

Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver this week devoted his primary segment to 911, or “the thing you call right after WebMD tells you you’re not going to be able to get it out on your own.”

“We have a lot of faith in 911,” Oliver explained. “But the system can break down more that you think and when it does, people can die as a result.” [..]

Oliver noted that in a 2014 report, the FCC concluded, “we estimate that the location accuracy improvements … could save approximately 10,120 lives annually.”

And one logical improvement, he said, would be the same up-to-date location finding technology that even the most trivial smartphone apps feature.

“Even the Domino’s app can tell where you are,” he added. “And they’ve barely mastered the technology to make a palatable pizza.”