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

Scott Howard scott at doc.net.au
Thu Apr 16 17:04:08 AEST 2009

On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 11:38 PM, Marghanita da Cruz <
marghanita at ramin.com.au> wrote:

> Perhaps some of the issues have been addressed and this is another rehash
> of an
> old story. A few months back, I heard about this campaign, from someone who
> works
> for the fire brigade - who has apparently taken over managing the triple
> zero
> number:

The triple zero number itself is run by Telstra, as a requirement of their
telco license.  They provide the initial touchpoint, which includes the
"police, fire or ambulance?" routing, as well as some controls around
accidental calls ("press 5-5", etc).

>From there the call is routed to the respective emergency services. In some
states these calls centers are merged between some of the services (eg, fire
+ ambulance in one) whilst in others they are separate.

What strikes me as strange here is that all of the calls apparently went
through to the Ambulance.  The NSW Police would seem to be a far more
appropriate group to handle the initial call, and they are certainly well
trained to handle calls without a "street address".  If there is any doubt
as to which of the 3 emergency services groups a call is to be routed to
then the default destination is the Police, which would imply that the
caller specifically asked for the Ambulance on each occasion.

As much as people might complain of the privacy concerns of the US E911
system and the requirements for all mobile/cell phones to have some form of
GPS support, it's times like this when you can really see the benefit of
such a system. As far as I'm aware the Australian systems still are unable
to give anything more than (at best) a state the call is coming from which
is simply unacceptable.


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