Temas Especiales

27 de Oct de 2020

Nacional

Bad cats get their kicks from 911 abuse

PANAMA. An emergency phone call is received at the 911 call center, a voice says: “I need you to save me!” The operator asks: “What is ...

PANAMA. An emergency phone call is received at the 911 call center, a voice says: “I need you to save me!” The operator asks: “What is your problem?” The person on the line responds: “Call Batman, tell him to rescue me. ” The disgruntle operator hangs up and records “another time waster. ”

This example is just one of the 60,000 bogus phone calls that new 911 System (SUME) has received since it opened on February 20, when the carnival festivitiesbegan.

Nobody knows for certain why people called to the emergency phone line to amuse themselves. Could be an act of rebellion against the system or perhaps because it was carnival?

The system opened at 2:00 p.m. on February 20 and the 12 operators were looking to answering the first phone call.

At 2:01 the telephone rang and the caller hung immediately, he was a child making a joke. That was just the beginning.

From that day on, the volume of bogus calls was such that one of the operators of the small call center located in Calidonia has decided to quit.

For many years Panama did not have an emergency services hotline and people have had to call directly to the police and the fire brigade, which meant that lives were at risk due to the delay.

The 911 hotline became a project of the charitable organization Club 20-30 in 2006, supported by one of its members, Carlos Justiniani. The emergency services was created thanks to the contribution of $4.7 million donated by the population.

That money was used to buy 23 ambulances and a year later a law was introduced so that the newly created organization will receive more funds from Internet users and providers.

Months later, paramedics were trained by the Israeli Emergency Services.

Every time an ambulance goes out it costs the system $300 and in the last six days there have been 188 trips, 38 of them were made in vain and because of the bogus calls $11,400 has been lost so far.

The Israeli trainer, Daniel Shumer thinks that the bogus phone calls will decrease as time goes by, once the people get bored and the novelty wears off. things will go back to normal.

The executive director of SUME, Marta Sandoya said bogus callers would have to pay $100 fro making a false call.

The law that created the emergency services, does not specify what actions should be taken against those people and the law will likely be revised.

In other jurisdictions false calls result in heavy charges.