emergency response

Tonight at 5pm: How does 9-1-1 work in Oakland?

Jan 20, 2014

"The Race to an Emergency," a special hour-long documentary by KALW News examining the 911 Emergency Response System in Oakland.  Reporter Ali Budner and host Martina Castro will trace the path of a 911 call and the response, through dispatchers to emergency responders, and will also talk to residents who feel they can't rely on 911 in neighborhoods where there's more poverty and crime.  We'll also introduce you to the People's Community Medics, a group of residents who decided to train themselves in basic first aid so they could keep people alive while they wait for help.

Courtesy of www.freedomhousedoc.com

The story behind the country's real first ambulance system carries themes of race and class. It was created in the late 1960s. Up until then, police would take patients to the hospital in wagons that weren't equipped with gurneys or medical equipment.

WEB EXTRA: A brief history of 9-1-1

Oct 8, 2013

The coordinated 9-1-1 system has grown up in fits and starts in different parts of the country.

Up until the late 1960s, you had to dial “0” or a 7-digit number to reach an emergency switchboard, and those numbers varied city to city.

Flickr user D.H. Parks, Under CC License / http://www.flickr.com/photos/parksdh/

Last night’s fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond put city residents in a state of panic. The fire sent up a huge plume of black smoke, stopping traffic, closing bridges, and shutting down BART stations.

The large-scale chemical fire still has local residents concerned for their health and safety. Many say they heard about the fire late, and that the multi-lingual phone system that is supposed to alert the diverse communities of Richmond in case of a disaster didn’t work.