How we came to be:
My husband, Bob Herzing, collapsed and died of a heart attack in August 2018. As I worked through my grief it was alarming to learn what happened within the 911 emergency system, after he collapsed, and how his life may have been spared. While coming to grips with the series of mishaps, I’ve learned these problems have occurred here before and also in many other rural areas. I am dedicating my efforts to protecting others in rural communities from the risks that contributed to my husband’s death and seeking permanent fixes from our policymakers.
Forty-Seven minutes!!! That’s how long it took EMTs to arrive after Bob collapsed, too late to save him. There were a number of factors for this delay with the key reasons being:
- Several 911 cell phone calls and a VoiP call were misrouted to the wrong county and state 911 Call Center.
- All wrong 911 Call Centers could not transfer the calls to the correct county Call Center and attempted to provide a 10-digit bypass phone number that could not be written down while performing CPR
- First responders had difficulty determining the location of the emergency.
Many rural communities are made up of retirees, veterans and multi-generational families who love country living. The 911 emergency service levels for rural areas should parallel those delivered to urban dwellers.
- Adequate cell tower coverage to immediately reach the correct county 911 Call Center.
- Paid first responders to ensure 24/7 coverage and response times in less than 15 minutes.
- Up to date and compatible technology in 911 Call Centers to allow data and call transfer.
- In rural areas multiple jurisdictions respond and their radio communications equipment should be compatible.