[LINK] Lost in the Blue Mountains: triple-0 operator 'uncaring'

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Thu Apr 16 16:56:23 AEST 2009

On 16/04/2009, at 4:38 PM, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:

> Triple Zero (000) is Australia's emergency number yet a surprising  
> number of
> people don't know it, aren't sure when to use it or confuse it with  
> overseas
> emergency numbers.

In the wilderness first aid courses that I've attended over the years  
(in a previous occupation/life), I was instructed to avoid calling 000  
unless the emergency services are required to arrive at a (mapped)  
road junction or location. This is an important distinction, and I can  
see why the Blue Mountains tragedy unfolded the way that it did.

Triple-zero calls are handled at a national level, and so you need to  
offer a good deal more information if the call is to be handled  
properly, and in the minimum of time.

There is another number to call which will connect you directly to  
LOCAL emergency services, so the required translation of what needs to  
be done is minimised.

However, it's not foolproof: I once called for emergency medical  
assistance in a remote area, and it took four hours before the ambos  
discovered that the grid reference that I had given was mistranslated  
by the local police, which sent the medivac team to another location  
which unfortunately had a reasonable match with the correct location.

Luckily, the injured person survived. But if I had called 000, I doubt  
if we would have seen help that day.


Ivan Trundle
http://itrundle.com ivan at itrundle.com
ph: +61 (0)418 244 259 fx: +61 (0)2 6286 8742 skype: callto://ivanovitchk

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