Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
What You Might Get When Calling 911
July 6th, 2009 by Susan Smith
Last month cell phone tower programming errors were responsible for misrouting 911 calls from lost hiker Megumi Yamamoto in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe, NM.
The problem was quickly corrected, however, the hiker’s calls went to a non-emergency, administrative line in the Santa Fe County Emerrgency Communications Center. Since the calls were not going through the 911 emergency dispatch line, emergency responders were unable to track her location. Ultimately, her call was transferred to a state police emergency dispatcher and a rescue effort was started. The transfer to the state police dispatcher took place about 6 minutes after the first 911 call.
Ironically, the rescue state police helicopter crashed shortly after picking Yamamoto up, killing her and another crew member. The pilot survived, and the crash is under investigation.