The 911 system started in 1968 and while it may have efficiently done its job in its early years, today is a different story. Many argue that the problem lies in cell phones. When cell phones weren’t invented, 911 call centers could be sure that the landline call was where the emergency was located. Today, more than 75% of 911 calls originate from cell phones. The challenge begins when 911 call centers receive wireless calls; they generally only know the sector of where the call originates from, but they don’t have the technology to pinpoint the caller’s location.
Many 911 caller centers haven’t upgraded their system’s technology yet. Because of this, many experts say it may be a while before all call centers are able to figure out the exact location of a wireless caller. Even when a caller gives an address, it’s not always easy to locate the address right away, so call centers have to use their dated technology find the location of the caller. Administrators need to carefully assess whether 911 centers should be consolidated. This means that each state will have a very limited number of call centers, but will be equipped with advanced technology and resources that are able to spread further. For example, in Vermont there are two centers that handle calls from the entire state. Elizabeth Adams, a former 911 call center administrator, says she understands that it’s a more efficient way, but she struggles to find the point at which it’s too much to limit the number of call centers in one state.
As 911 centers struggle with the costs of advanced technology, a number of states have passed legislation forcing consolidation in the name of lower costs. In certain states, maintaining a sustainable call center is not feasible when taking into account employee costs, fiscal challenges, and healthcare costs. It becomes even more difficult when communities are not able to raise enough money through taxes and other means. Budge Currier, a 911 Administrator, believes that while consolidation obtains next generation technology, the cost and services of these call centers show no significant change. So, is consolidation the logical next step for 911 call centers or is there another solution?
Children are not small adults; their biology differs from that of adults and therefore they have different medicine to treat the same illnesses that adults suffer from. Dr. Kurt Newman, President and CEO at Children’s National Health System, says that we don’t invest as much as we should in our children’s healths. When we don’t prioritize child’s health, we prevent early diagnosis of diseases and conditions that can alter a child’s life forever. Newman recommends that parents take their children to a specialized children’s hospital where the doctors, treatments, and equipment that are specifically designed for children.
Newman suggests that we need to make children’s health a national priority by specializing in treatments, equipment and doctors who know to treat children and their symptoms as those of children, not little adults. Newman also believes that the talks of cutting medicaid costs – that will impact over 30 million children – are short sighted because it will delay treatment that could occur at an earlier time and allow a child to live a more fulfilling life.
911 is literally a lifeline for millions of Americans, but it’s mostly based on old technology depending on land line phones to know where callers are. Expensive next generation technology built for the 75 percent of 911 calls from cell phones has helped push call centers to consolidate. But will it cost lives when a far away call center worker with no local geographic knowledge takes your call?
Healing Children: Not Just Little Adults
Children’s medicine is more specialized than many people think. Pediatric practitioners and hospitals are set up to deal with the different biology of children. An expert explains.
Have you ever fought with a sibling? Most of us have at some point, especially as kids. While some experts say sibling rivalry strengthens sibling relationships, others claim this can be harmful for a child’s well-being. In extreme cases, siblings torment their brothers or sisters to the point of psychological or physical abuse. This abuse can lead to psychological disorders throughout a child’s life.
Thirty to fifty percent of siblings face abuse in their lifetime. What line can parents determine which is plain sibling rivalry and which is actual abuse? PTSD trainer Nancy Kilgore suffered through fifteen years of severe emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from her own sister. She wrote the book Girl in the Water about her abuse and the psychological effects on her life. Kilgore says parents must not dismiss that it is normal for siblings to torment each other, and suggests parents step in should they see an issue arise.
Valparaiso University’s assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Mandy Morrill-Richards claims that parental attention is a key factor in sibling abuse. Typically, sibling abuse occurs out of the watch of parents, usually when they leave the children home alone. Often times the oldest child takes care of their siblings, and begins to abuse their younger siblings due to the lack of supervision. While parents cannot keep watch over their children 24/7, these experts suggest tackling the problem before it becomes even larger or more harmful for the children. This involves weekly open communication like meetings and paying attention to any warning signs. In order to prevent self-doubt, guilt, shame, and possibly even PTSD, parents need to supervise their children, especially if they begin to harm one another.
Many of us take our smiles for granted. Mary Otto, author of Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality and the Struggle for Oral Health in America, claims that ⅓ of low-income Americans refuse to smile because they are embarrassed by their teeth. Our teeth, whether we realize it or not, have become symbols of status. Have you ever looked at a photo of a celebrity and admired their teeth? Beautiful, white, straight teeth definitely come with a cost, and many underprivileged people find it too expensive.
Dr. Cheryl Watson-Lowry, an inner-city Chicago dentist, says that because people do not have proper dental care, they let their dental problems escalate to the point of sending themselves to the Emergency Room. A study in 2012 found that people went to the Emergency Room for dental pain every 15 seconds, costing taxpayers at the time $750 per visit. Watson-Lowry states that Emergency Rooms cannot provide the proper care for dental work. She hopes the Dental Health Care Act of 2017 will generate community dental health coordinators so those who need dental care can get it.
Mary Otto, author, Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality and the Struggle for Oral Health in America
Dr. Cheryl Watson-Lowry, inner city Chicago dentist