Monday, July 08, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2467, July 8th, 2013


A few years ago, the City of Hazleton joined the 911 system in Hanover Township to improve efficiency in Emergency services. Prior to that, Hazleton had a dedicated officer at the police station to take 911 calls. On the morning of July 5th, right after the Fourth of July, a man was shot in an altercation by someone he knew. 
Neighbors called 911. 
The police called 911. 
Frantic family members of the man bleeding called. 
That is a disgrace. 
If I said it once, I’ll say it again. Public sector employees and managers (and that’s what 911 employees are) wouldn’t last a week in a regular call center. The employees will get blamed but mostly it is the managers who let this thing go by the boards. 
It’s the night of the Fourth of July going into the morning after and you don’t have adequate staffing? I think Hazleton residents should just pull out of the 911 operation. Friday morning it proved useless. What is there was a fast moving fire? 25 minute response time? What if the guy died? Perhaps a lawsuit? 
911 workers say they are understaffed. County Manager Bob Lawton says the response time was three minutes yet the Hazleton Chief says it took 25 minutes. Who you going to believe? 
The residents of Hazleton should demand an inquiry into why this took so long, why managers let this happen, who the managers were and how large was the staffing. Hazleton Police Chief Frank D’Andrea had the best line of the year on this when asked if the Fourth of July holiday could have been the reason. He said, “I don’t know about you but the Fourth of July comes every year at the same time. I plan for it with added staff, why can’t they?” 
Because Chief, it’s a county job. As the old saying goes, close enough for government work….unless of course you’re bleeding in the street for 25 minutes! 
And if the workers who told WBRE that they are understaffed, let me say this. Welcome to the real world. Private business is understaffed. If you can't do the job, quit. And let someone who can handle it take over. 


At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

911 Workers are underpaid and have little or no chance for raises or promotions. Aside from the stress and pressure,that's why so many leave. That leaves us with less experienced people and nothing matches experience. Perhaps the Hazleton Police Chief should have waited for an investigation before sounding off. Clearly somebody is not telling the truth.
Yonks, comparing what these people do to a call center is ridiculous. Is there ever a life on the line when someone is ordering lingerie or booking a trip? If there was in fact a 25 minute delay then heads should roll and staffing should be immediately brought in line. If not then the Hazleton Police Chief should be reprimanded or dismissed. These people are supposed to be working together. The 911 Staffers are the first contact in an important chain of first responders. They are extensively trained in Lackawanna County. I would hope the same is true in Luzerne where the call volume is greater with more violence. Lives are often on the line in both Counties. Hours of routine calls and boredom and then suddenly all hell breaks loose and there is no room for error or complacency. Tough jobs at low pay.


At 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete scores.

May I point out that, again government has screwed up another public service.

Any solution will be so drawn out as to be ineffective when implemented.

I'm sure there is someone out there with a better idea.

The technology is affordable and improving.
The staffing development and support is continuing to improve (if accessed).

A 25 minute response time is completely unacceptable and will take guts to address. I don't believe the Hazelton powers that be have the guts.

Hopefully the electorate does.

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geeze Yonki, I thought for sure you'd blame the unions on that one too. They always seem to be the favorite scapegoat of blame on you side of the pen.

At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yonk's posts have become very reactionary over the last several years. I went back and read his early stuff, he was very measured and well thought out; it seems the more he appeared on WILK, the more he adopted their "facts be dammed" mentality and just shoots from the hip.

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


He is getting old and perhaps a bit grumpy!
Lulac is an excellent site and the time and energy Yonki puts in are appreciated. He stays with it thru health obstacles and insults that would have silenced most. Deep down its clear, the guy cares about the area. Yes he protects the WILKers and has his favorites in the political arena, but he is so often right on point that occasional foibles are best overlooked. Personally I wish he were a high ranking public official because his dedication, honesty and integrity would be a major advantage to NEPA.



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