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Fix 9-1-1 Delays

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Officials at the Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC) say they will work to fix a chronic problem associated with putting emergency callers on hold. They need to!

A recent Eyewitness News investigation uncovered case after case of 9-1-1 nightmares - desperate callers placed on hold and not getting the immediate emergency assistance they were seeking!

David Hale's experience exemplifies the problem. When he thought his buddy was dying, he called 9-1-1 and was placed on hold five times. Frustrated and desperate, he found a phone book and dialed a police department directly. Fortunately, his friend got help and survived.

VECC's problem, it seems, boils down to a staffing shortage. Even a million dollar investment in a new system that places callers in a "queue" and answers them on a first-come basis seems to be exacerbating the problem. Instead of waiting on-hold, many callers hang up and try again, and each time they do, they go to the back of the "queue."

Needless to say, such confusion at a 9-1-1 center is totally unacceptable.

KSL is encouraged that VECC officials acknowledge their problem, say they are already taking steps to modify their "queue" system, and plan to add more call-takers.

As we said, they need to. Desperate 9-1-1 callers shouldn't have to wait unduly for help.

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