Don’t Crash Here

On Sunday morning at about 4am I received a frantic phone call from my boyfriend. He was making sure I was OK, since there was a huge crash on S280 between Mariposa and Cesar Chavez, which he can see from the back of his house. That’s the route I use to get home from work. He said that after the initial crash, three more vehicles slammed into them and that one car had rolled over. Dazed and confused people from the accident were wandering the freeway. He called 911, which forwarded him to the CHP. While he described what had happened to not one but two dispatchers, one asked if medical was needed. Are you kidding?!?? It took more than 15 minutes for the police to arrive and another 15 for any medical. There are at least four firestations within 10 minutes and SF General Hospital is less than 5 minutes away. Other cars that had stopped as witnesses or to help had already left the scene. So, if you must crash in SF, be prepared to wait for emergency services to help. Another reason not to drive…

4 Comments so far

  1. Brendan Monaghan (unregistered) on April 25th, 2005 @ 11:16 am

    “Are you kidding?!??”

    No they aren’t kidding. People in this city call 911 for any little headache, bump, or fender bender. Of course they aren’t kidding. Don’t take such offense to it.

  2. Robin Jean (unregistered) on April 25th, 2005 @ 11:21 am

    Well, when someone calls and says that there is a MULTI-CAR crash on the FREEWAY with a ROLLOVER, I think medical isn’t a question. I know people call 911 with stupid things…this isn’t one of them.

  3. Kevin-John (unregistered) on April 25th, 2005 @ 5:36 pm

    oooh.. that used to be my backyard too.. lived at 20th and Miss…

    …still miss Potrero Hill…

  4. cd (unregistered) on April 25th, 2005 @ 5:41 pm

    I would bet good money that they question is part of operator protocol, no doubt stemming from some instance when a panicked person called to report an accident and didn’t think to ask for medical help and the operator didn’t think to offer assuming that the caller would say “good god, send a doctor,” and lawsuits resulted.

    I don’t find anything unreasonable in the question and in emergency situations, people can forget to give all kinds of details or forget to suggest all kinds of help.

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