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Demi Moore and her E911 plightChris Koehncke
Actress Demi Moore is laying on the floor at her residence. Demi is foaming at the mouth (and not in that good mouthwash way) and having difficulty breathing. One of the 2 assistants in the house decides it’s time to call in professional help and dials 911.
It’s at this point that America’s demonstrates that despite spending billions on technology, key and likely important infrastructure issues remain deeply under invested and lacking of modern day touches. Los Angeles County has the same population as the entire country of Switzerland and it’s no surprise that they have a busy emergency calling center. In fact, the E911 systems in LA answer roughly 5.1 million phones calls a year. It can sure can hectic as well, a single car accident on a motorway can result in 400-500 calls to the E911 center in the space of a few minutes. All of this giving a new meaning to “please hold your call is important to us.”
Note, I said “systems”. Los Angeles has 58 incorporated cities within the county (though one would be hard to tell where one ends and another begins). Los Angeles doesn’t just have 1 main emergency dispatch, they infact have 21 different emergency centers taking E911 calls.
Let’s return to Demi Moore. Lovely as she is (or was, but hopefully will be again). This recording of the E911 calls begins easy enough. Frantic caller, calm E911 dispatcher. I have an emergency, this is our address. Easy enough or so it seems. What transpires is a comedy worthy of late night television.
The dispatcher isn’t sure Demi’s home is within his dispatch area and unsure why he got the call. I know where Demi lives! A less than 10 second search of Google maps found sheÂ lives here (for all your celebrity voyeurs)Â in the heart of LA County and ritzy Beverly Hills. So the dispatcher decides to connect Demi’s assistant with the Beverly Hills Emergency Center (of course they have their own darling). The dispatcher isn’t sure the address is within her region, puts everyone on hold (the LA dispatcher is still on the line) to “consult” with her supervisor. She returns a minute later and declares the address isn’t really in their area.
At this point, the 2nd Demi Moore assistant picks up another phone in the house and wonders why the hell they’re now on the phone for over a minuteÂ trying to get a rescue unit dispatched. The LA Dispatcher, obviously not well versed in customer service, reprimands the lady explaining he is trying to help.
Don’t believe me, here’s the YouTube link for the audio recording. Clearly, there remains a tad more room for improvement here.