Reportedly, the first-ever 9-1-1 call was placed in 1968, and it was a testing of the efficiency of the system. The first 9-1-1 call I was ever affiliated with was placed in 1974. It was placed from a public phone booth near Chicago’s Dearborn Housing Projects, to the city’s police department, and was my cousin’s response to me experiencing a heroin overdose. Reportedly he called 911 two times, between three minute intervals. It was not until the third call however, when he announced that a white caseworker was unconscious in a black housing project, that an ambulance arrived almost immediately.
In 2001, when the twin tower incident (nine-eleven) occurred, I was a guest in the 73 story Detroit Marriott hotel, that is in very close proximity to Dearborn, Michigan, which has the largest Arab American population in the United States. After returning about 10:00 that morning from a cancelled conference , a note had been slipped under my hotel door informing me that I could stay that night, but that there would be no staff or hotel service available. I decided to stay, even though every body that didn’t live there was leaving by taxi, rental car, boat, or plane to get away from the preconceived danger.
The last 9-1-1 that I was involved in occurred in 2012, right here in Long Beach, California. About 3:00am one morning, our dog CoCo started barking, and my wife Nicole and I got out of bed to witness a man using all the effort he could muster to open our locked door. While Nicole inexplicably conversed with the 911 operator, I held the door knob and used every ounce of strength I had to offset the pressure that this much larger individual was applying to the wooden door frame. One police car finally arrived, then another, but the two police officers stood outside their vehicles with flashlights drawn, and waited until there were a total of four officers before they even approached the assailant.
What i garnered from these three experiences is: 1. Illegal drug use is hazardous to your health. 2. A response should not be entirely based on a group of peoples’ ethnicity or what another group of people think they might do, and 3. Don’t expect others to adequately serve and protect just because they wear uniforms that say they will. Unexpected circumstances are going to take place, yet how we respond is not always dependent on the initial situation because there might be other factors and other people over whom we have no control. What we can do, nonetheless, is prepare ourselves for whatever might take place.
Although I have no regrets toward how I’ve responded in the past, I know that it is imperative that I focus on right now, and do what I can to be prepared for what might happen later. What I’m doing along those lines is simply trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday. I’m paying closer attention to what I’m doing, than to what’s being done around me. In that way, if a 911 situation materializes, I don’t have to worry about how to react…I can just go with the flow.
To comment or respond please click on the word comments at the bottom of this page, or email me at email@example.com