LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

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Offline SeeingClues

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LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 09:59:24 AM
Found this on the web...additional details on the 911 call and response, posted by STEPHEN J. RUDA, who is a captain in the Los Angeles (CA) Fire Department Office of Public Information.  Not sure if anyone has ever seen this before.

http://www.fireengineering.com/index/ar ... chael.html

Lessons from the Michael Jackson Call


BY STEPHEN J. RUDA

The phone call came to headquarters from a division commander who had been notified by one of his rescue ambulances and fire engines that a popular celebrity needed help.

Here in Los Angeles and within the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), it is policy that the incident commander notify our Operational Control Division when there is an incident of serious injury involving a well-known celebrity or elected official. Then we notify the chain of command and inform the various political officials who have a need to know.

Over the years, that policy has been very effective in respecting the privacy of our patients and rendering to them the care they deserve in their moments of great need. From traffic accidents on Sunset Boulevard to drug overdoses in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles firefighters and paramedics have seen a lot and have responded with professionalism and great service.

 

THE INCIDENT
 

On June 25, 2009, at 12:21 p.m., 911 operators transferred a request for emergency care to a Los Angeles firefighter dispatcher. The LAFD answers more than 2,900 emergency calls in a 24-hour window, 1,300 of which generate an emergency response.

The call to the 100 block of Carolwood Avenue in the plush and exclusive area of Bel Air was not an unusual response for the firefighters and paramedics assigned to Fire Station 71. Their fire station is nestled in a very busy intersection along Sunset Boulevard, just blocks from the Playboy Mansion to the south and the Westwood campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to the west. The homes of the rich and the famous spread upward into the brush-covered hillside to their northern boundary.

When a call for emergency care sounded in quarters, Engine 71, with a crew of an engineer, a firefighter paramedic, an EMT firefighter, and a supervising captain, along with an advanced life support rescue ambulance with two firefighter/paramedics, responded within 60 seconds. Little did they know at the time that they were responding to the address of one of the most popular entertainers in the world.

The dispatcher quietly took the call as the person from the Jackson home made the 911 call on a cell phone. It was routed through Beverly Hills and then unto the 911 systems for the LAFD. The caller never identified the person needing help, relating only that the patient was on the bed where a treating doctor was conducting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The dispatcher quickly ordered that the patient be placed on the floor so that a firm surface would provide the foundation for effective CPR. The caller acknowledged the instructions and then told the dispatcher that the doctor was the highest medical authority on-scene and paramedics were responding and would be with them shortly. That prearrival care lasted 43 seconds. The companies from Fire Station 71 responded in three minutes and 17 seconds.

Once the fire captain noticed the patient was a celebrity, Michael Jackson, he notified an EMS captain, who also responded. A total of four paramedics were in that first response. Immediate care was initiated. Contact was made with the Base Station, and medical procedures were begun. This response was on-scene at 1225 hours. Michael Jackson was en route to UCLA at 1307 hours and arrived at 1313 hours. At this time, care was transferred from the LAFD paramedics to the UCLA Hospital emergency staff. If it had not been that a celebrity such as Michael Jackson was the patient, the call would have been one to which paramedics across the United States respond multiple times a day.

 

THE AFTERMATH
 

What started as a routine call quickly gave way to a day filled with speculation and grief around the world. Two captains staff the LAFD Office of Public Information. We also have a firefighter in the dispatch center to handle media relations and press inquiries. The phone began to ring off the hook; media outlets scurried to verify that a medical call came to the LAFD and wanted to know what took place in Michael Jackson’s mansion.

As the commander of the Community Service Unit, I, along with my team, fielded countless phone calls from all over the world as the breaking news hit the television stations. All reporters called with the same questions: “Can you verify that your units responded to Michael Jackson’s house and that CPR was in progress?” “Can you verify that Michael Jackson has died?”

Certainly as health care providers, all of us in the American fire service must obey the confidentiality and medical HIPPA laws that require us not to disclose the names of our patients and the type of care we render. It is a very serious obligation. We, as public information officers (PIOs), were doing our best to explain the LAFD response while being very careful not to cross the lines of privacy. We do this out of respect for the law and for the confidentiality of the patient and his family.

We quickly gathered and discussed just what we were able to say. Our collective comments were that the LAFD responded on a 911 call requesting emergency medical care. We responded with a category assignment that was in accordance with our dispatch policy for this type of medical call. When we arrived on-scene, we began our care of our patient and followed all standard medical protocols with the assistance of a medical base station. Once we provided the care, we transported within four minutes to the treating hospital and transferred the care of our patient to the UCLA. For the most part, our responsibility was complete. The work of UCLA Hospital and its staff had just begun. After trying to revive Michael Jackson for some time, a member of the Jackson family declared that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, had died.

The family’s declaration of his death allowed the LAFD, when asked, to disclose that indeed Michael Jackson was our patient. However, the care given to him was still confidential, and members of the Public Information Office did not reveal any further information concerning what had transpired while LAFD personnel treated Michael Jackson at the Bel-Air Hills estate.

The fire service is considered the most trustworthy organization in America. All of us work hard to protect that image. Words like “service,” “integrity,” and “professionalism” surround us and are probably within our tenets of leadership. Here in Los Angeles, all of our emergency apparatus proudly display our motto: “Serving with Courage, Pride, and Integrity.” We believe in it and profess it. This is important, as a potential breach of that motto surfaced in the form of a photo of Michael Jackson in the back of an LAFD rescue ambulance while under the care of our paramedics.

When our emergency apparatus arrived on-scene, no one was in the streets surrounding the Jackson estate. When Michael Jackson was transported, the whirl of media and paparazzi descended on Carolwood Avenue, just off Sunset Boulevard. People surrounded the rescue ambulance, taking pictures and trying to catch a glimpse of the patient in the back of the ambulance.

Our paramedics were in the back rendering care when camera lenses shot through the windows. One photographer, unfortunately, captured Michael on the gurney (stretcher) as the ambulance negotiated the streets. Rumors were that the photo was taken by a member of the LAFD. This was not true, and the PIOs quickly verified that this picture was not taken by any first responders. As I said earlier, the business at hand was a commitment to service and genuine care for Michael Jackson, which was given to our patient in an all-out effort to save his life. The photo was taken by a photographer who sold it to the media for an unbelievable amount of money.

It is extremely important that your agency monitor press reports and photos in the media so that your firefighters and paramedics are accurately depicted. If they are not shown in the most positive light or if there are errors, you must correct them. We need to seek retractions and let the truth be reported. We work hard for our reputation, and we must do everything in our power to protect it and promote the good and noble acts of the members of our profession.

 

•••
 

The passing of Michael Jackson has affected people from around the world. Is your agency prepared to handle that type of call for help? Firefighters and paramedics care for all people regardless of color, whether they are celebrities or not. We respond to the mansions of the famous as well as to the cardboard makeshift homes of the poor. The world needs men and women who are willing to stand up and serve. Their personal names are not in lights or on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Their names are known to Americans simply as firefighters, paramedics, and life-saving professionals. And that is priceless.

STEPHEN J. RUDA is a captain in the Los Angeles (CA) Fire Department Office of Public Information.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Leah-Kim

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 10:13:00 AM
WOW i have never seen that before..... Im not sure what to make of it i mean MJ didnt buy off the firefighters but still Jermaine announcing the death is fishy..... The photo well im sure that was not taken that day...Hmm im confused...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline MJJLIVZ

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 10:20:42 AM
hi there clues, how are you? havent seen you lately. :)
thanks for posting, i havent seen that either...
?, why does it  say carolwood avenue? it was carolwood
drive? are they the same? something else that has always
confused me is why there was a fire engine dispatched?
i have never heard of an engine being on scene of a call
of that nature. i always thought that they are dispatched
for anything that could have fire related conseqences,
not single person medical calls?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


Offline SeeingClues

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 11:09:59 AM
I hadn't seen it either; I found it by doing a search on the LAFD and station 71, and this site came up.  Thought it was interesting because I don't think we've seen this much detail before about what happened when the 911 call was placed and afterwards from the LAFD perspective...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline lisap27

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 11:39:02 AM
:shock:  :shock: dunno what to say about that!! thats my face right now :shock:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline MJJLIVZ

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 11:40:08 AM
also, something else that has confused me for 7 months
is why the ambu and fire truck are 71, and the operator
says "fire,paramedic 33"?????????????? am i just really stupid?
i dont get that?
 :?  :?  :?  :?  :?:  :geek:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


Offline MJJLIVZ

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 11:54:07 AM
can anyone please tell me about my ?
above..i dont know alot about those things,
why are they different numbers?
thanks.. :)  :oops:  :arrow:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


Offline curious1

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 01:30:12 PM
A couple of things strike me, the author stated it was the caller who declared the Dr. to be the highest medical authority, when according to the recording, it was the dispatcher. The other thing is that the videos show the photos being snapped in the driveway but the author says the ambulance was descended upon by photographers on Sunset Blvd. I'd definitely not heard it this way before, this is very interesting.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline MJJLIVZ

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 11, 2010, 01:57:59 PM
Quote from: "curious1"
A couple of things strike me, the author stated it was the caller who declared the Dr. to be the highest medical authority, when according to the recording, it was the dispatcher. The other thing is that the videos show the photos being snapped in the driveway but the author says the ambulance was descended upon by photographers on Sunset Blvd. I'd definitely not heard it this way before, this is very interesting.


yes, i noticed that too... by the way,
can you maybe help me with my ? above?
 :)  :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »


Offline Christiana

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 12, 2010, 01:16:15 AM
I actually posted a link to this article on MJKit in November.

http://mjkit.forumotion.net/all-odd-thi ... -t3824.htm

There was some interesting conversation there as well, for anyone interested.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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(Translation = Just because I might disagree with you does not mean I\'m attacking you.)

Offline sunrise

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 12, 2010, 04:30:10 AM
"When our emergency apparatus arrived on-scene, no one was in the streets surrounding the Jackson estate"


???  aha..  :roll:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Tink.I.Am

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Re: LAFD Blog Post about 911 Call - "Lessons Learned"

  • on: January 12, 2010, 06:54:57 AM
Quote from: "sunrise"
"When our emergency apparatus arrived on-scene, no one was in the streets surrounding the Jackson estate"


???  aha..  :roll:


that's what im thinking aswell... ! no one was there... and the   paparazzi himself said that there was photografers there and that they did call their office for more paparazzis to come..... strange...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline RyanG

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I am really shocked by this post. But i am glad that the suspect is now sentenced in jail. It's just sad that no matter how many payday loan we get to fight for MJ, he's now gone. May he rest in peace.

 

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