ST. MARY’S COUNTY 911 HAYWIRE COSTS LIFE OF INFANT; RESCUE CHIEF SLAMS OFFICIALS FOR LAME OPERATIONS

Breaking News EMT & Fire Politics Really Inept Elected Officials

ST. MARY’S COUNTY 911 HAYWIRE COSTS LIFE OF INFANT; RESCUE CHIEF SLAMS OFFICIALS FOR LAME OPERATIONS

Bozo Board St. Marys Board of Commissioners

RESCUE CHIEF SLAMS OFFICIALS FOR LAME OPERATIONS

LEXINGTON PARK, MD. (Oct. 31, 2017) — The chickens have come home to roost for a good old boy operation of local emergency management in St. Mary’s County as sloppy operations may have resulted in the death of an infant in Lexington Park. One rescue chief has warned that more such tragedies are likely to take place under the current operations of the 911 center.

The hiring of the family members of county commissioners at the agency along with the appointment of the director in charge of the agency, an official with no training or background in emergency services, has continued to provide a less than stellar service which has been funded by a never-ending flow of tax dollars in the last twenty years.  New radio systems with backups have been provided with citizens told that the systems were state of the art.

Still, most any technology can fail at some point and the system in St. Mary’s County did exactly that on Oct. 24, 2017. When failure happens due to a storm or computer blowouts, there remains the human factor, and according to the Lexington Park Rescue Squad Chief, Shawn Davidson, even that failed. In addition, the chief points to years of bringing concerns to the elected officials that oversee the agency and those concerns are dumped without being taken seriously – chiefly by Director Bob Kelly who operates the EMS/911 center in Leonardtown.

Politics has been at the root of the emergency management system

When Democrat Commissioners Tommy Mattingly and Dan Raley were holding office as county commissioners, both of their sons began working at the agency in the 1990’s.  Tommy Mattingly Jr., now has plenty of experience in emergency management as he has, over the past twenty years risen to the position of president of the Leonardtown Vol Fire Department.

St. Mary’s County EMS Director Bob Kelly.

The county fire board is composed of representatives of each of the county’s volunteer rescue squads and fire departments but all of them are subject to the decision making and authority of Bob Kelly. According to one official, Kelly has been attempting to have Mattingly removed from the fire board due to his view that working at the EMS center and being president of the fire department is a conflict of interest.

This view runs contrary to the enormous tax burden that the volunteers relieve the county of providing should they simply close up overnight and let bureaucrats like Kelly figure out how to replace them.

Kelly was hired to be the director of information and technology for the purpose of upgrading the county’s always outdated 911 system and to bring order to the antiquated computer records of the county.

Kelly’s wife Christine was elected the county treasurer in 2014 and took the reins of the agency which the former elected treasurer, Jan Norris, resisted the efforts of Bob Kelly to take control.

In a statement published on YouTube, (see below), Davidson stated that the purpose of having the IT department and the EMS department combined for the implementation of the new 911 system ten years ago has “run its course”.

Lexington Park Vol Res Squad at 1050 on Rt. 235 THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY

Chief Davidson said that until the symptoms of the problems of the operations of the EMS center are addressed by the St. Mary’s County Commissioners, “we can look forward to more of these problems happening.”

Chief Davidson said that until the symptoms of the problems of the operations of the EMS center are addressed by the St. Mary’s County Commissioners, “we can look forward to more of these problems happening.”

The Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad Chief, Shawn Davidson, told reporter Brad Bell of ABC7 that an ambulance was ready to roll to save the life of the baby, but they were not alerted.

Former County Commissioner Dan Raley is on the board of directors of the Lexington Park Vol. Rescue Squad. Many of those in the Raley family, as are many other families, are heavily involved in the county’s volunteer fire and rescue departments.

When Hurricane Isabel hit the Southern Maryland region in 2003, St. Mary’s County’s EMS Director couldn’t provide emergency radio station alerts as no one had prepared the generator at WMDM radio station, located at St. Andrews Church Road to power up when most of the country lost electric power due to high winds and downed trees on power lines.  The term “emergency preparedness” was lost on the agency during that storm.

Lexington Park Vol. Rescue Squad photo courtesy of WJLA Brad Bell

Washington TV station reported on the death of an infant

FROM ABC 7:

LEXINGTON PARK, Md. (ABC7) — It was a call the nearest medics never heard.

A two-week-old baby was in cardiac arrest inside a St. Mary’s County apartment, yet in the Lexington Park Rescue Squad, alert tones reportedly never sounded.

“It sets off a siren inside the station that alerts the folks that there’s a call, so they need to go, and that’s the part of the system that failed,” said Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad Chief Shawn Davidson.

Davidson says that means his medics were not sent to try to save the baby.

“There was an ambulance in this station. We had resources available who didn’t know they needed to call, and you can’t answer calls you don’t know about,” said Davidson.

The baby did not survive. The death is now the subject of a police investigation to determine what happened inside the home before the family called 911. Medics doubt a quicker dispatch would have saved the child, but the concern about the glitch remains.

“This is a symptom of a set of bigger problems inside of our system,” said Davidson. “What they should have done was send out an all page for everybody as soon as they recognized the system was down and told us to keep watch so that we knew to have someone monitoring the radio to pick up calls as they happened.”

the EMS and Technology department reveals in the following press release that they have investigated themselves and “completed an initial investigation.”

— The following information was provided in a press release by the St. Mary’s County Emergency Management Office to explain a system failure that cost the life of a Lexington Park child.  Like most government agencies that are rooted in political patronage in hiring and promotions, with genuine disdain for volunteer fire and rescue agencies with whom they must coordinate, the EMS and Technology department reveals in the following press release that they have investigated themselves and “completed an initial investigation.”

The St. Mary’s Board of Bozo Commissioners.  THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY graphic

Emergency Services and Technology Offers Response Regarding October 24 Radio System Operations

– The St. Mary’s County Department of Emergency Services and Technology has received a number of inquiries regarding the emergency communications radio system on the morning of October 24. The department has completed an initial investigation.

At approximately 0415 hours on October 24, 2017, Emergency Communications Dispatchers received a radio communication from a deputy.  Staff responded to the unit, however, no response confirming the transmission was received.  Police dispatchers noticed when attempting to key up on the console there was a delay that is not usually there. Other sheriff’s units attempted to radio in and were unable to hear us answering them back. Sheriff’s Office Headquarters was able to acknowledge their messages.

The computer system alerted dispatchers to several minor system alarms.  Immediately we transitioned to our portable backup radios and were able to communicate with all field units.  Contact was made with the Radio Tech and the Deputy Director Steve Walker.  Tests pages were performed which confirmed an issue with paging.   At 0434, the 9-1-1 center received a call for a Residential Fire Alarm – this call was dispatched with paging tones broadcasted successfully via the backup paging system.

A staff member was sent to the backup 9-1-1 center and confirmed that the consoles at this site were also impacted.

At approximately 0550 the Radio Technician arrived at the 9-1-1 Center and began troubleshooting.  Several tests with audio and page tones were performed with successful tones transmitted to Forestry and Fire Company 9’s page tones from the console.  The Technician advised to restart our console radios. At this time dispatching from the consoles was resumed.

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At 0635 a CPR in Progress call was received at our 9-1-1 Center.  Communications received a call regarding a 2-week-old male unresponsive and not breathing.  Dispatchers initiated EMD and began assisting the caller and immediately began alerting the FIRE/EMS response assignment.  St. Mary’s County utilizes multiple systems to alert our First Responders of a Call for Service – Page Tones, Text Messages, and Active 9-1-1 notices. The Alerts were broadcasted at 0636 to Fire Company 3, EMS Station 39, and Advanced Life Support.  At 0637 St. Mary’s County Sheriff and Maryland State Police are simulcast dispatched.  Brush3 reports enroute at 0639.  Safe3 reports enroute at 0640.  Medic3 and Sheriff’s Deputy report enroute at 0641.  In accordance with dispatching protocol at 0642 the Duty

Ambulance (Station 39) is challenged (second attempt).  At 0642 Station 39 responds that they are waiting for Primary Care (PC) – dispatchers contact Pax River requesting Paramedic Ambulance from the base.  Sheriff Unit reports on location at 0643 and alerts are broadcasted to Station 38, Company 6 Ambulance, Ambulance 139 and tones resounded for EMS Station 39 Duty Crew.  Safety 3 arrives on the scene and begins CPR at 0643.  A139(BLS) and A399 report enroute at 0645.  A399 arrived on-scene at 0649. *timestamps below

While on the phone, dispatch confirmed that the child was not breathing and began giving the caller CPR instructions for an infant.  The caller advised another occupant of the residence was performing CPR. Using EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch), the dispatcher went over the instructions with the caller to make sure they were performing CPR correctly.  While being assisted with Pre-Arrival Instructions, the caller terminated the phone call.  Immediate attempts to regain communication with the residence where unsuccessful.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this infant.  Our community works very hard to provide the best response possible to every call for help received at the 9-1-1 center. Dispatchers, Police, Fire, and EMS constantly train and are always seeking ways to improve our response. We continually conduct comprehensive reviews of policies and system performance.

*(Time Stamps)

0635 – 911 call from 21627 Liberty Street. Call lasted 2:39 sec

0636 – Dispatched Co3, Duty Ambulance St39, ALS

0637 – Simulcast Sheriff units on Sheriff Main

0637 – Simulcast MSP units on MSP Channel

0638 – Co3 awaiting a driver on E32 Portable

0638 – Safety 3B to the station

0639 – Brush 3 responding

0640 – Safety 3B to the scene

0641 – Medic 3 to the scene

0641 – Sheriff unit P270 in area attempting to locate

0642 – Challenge Duty Ambulance to respond

0642 – St 39 awaiting PC

0642 – CS Martin call NDW Dispatch to request Paramedic Ambulance off of Pax River

0643 – Sheriff units on location

0643 – Station 38, Co6 Ambulance, Ambulance 139 alerted to call. Resound tones for 39 Duty Crew

0643 – Safety 3 on scene

0643 – Safety 3 with CPR

0645 – A139 responding BLS only

0645 – A399 responding

0646 – Station 39 and Ambulance Co6 Cancelled

0648 – A139 placed in service due to their location

0649 – A399 on scene

0651 – Co3 units ready

0651 – A399 Priority 1 to MSMH

0651 – CS Martin notified MSMH ER of incoming patient

0656 – Medic 3 on A399 in route to MSMH Priority 1 CPR

0710 – Patent (sic) arrived at MSMH (Med Star St. Mary’s Hospital)

The following description of the St. Mary’s County Emergency Services Radio System can be found on the county website:

In June of 2012 St. Mary’s County awarded a contract to enhance 9-1-1 radio communications throughout the county with a three-phase NextGen P-25 Radio System.  Phase I of the project was completed and the acceptance of Phase I was finalized on December 30, 2013.  Phase I included two additional tower sites, the replacement of all subscriber radios, the expansion and upgrade of our backup dispatch center, upgrades to our main dispatch center, and the addition of a backup network control site.  Work is performed as part of the FY-15 budget process includes a consolidation of the remaining two phases of the contract which will expand the current 6 tower site configuration to the planned 13 tower configuration as specified in the contract.

The St. Mary’s County Radio System supports an extensive user base which includes all county agencies in addition to interoperability with neighboring counties, and MarylandFirst (Maryland Statewide Interoperable Communications System).  End-user radio support is provided by two county Radio Technicians supplemented by a factory certified Senior Field Technician who is responsible for the radio system infrastructure and operation.

Baby Died When Outdated 911 System Went Down

Why your emergency call might not be answered

911 systems are outdated and being hacked

FROM ABC15 Arizona

When 6-month-old Brandon Alex began to have trouble breathing in his Dallas bedroom in March, his babysitter called 911 three times and could not get through.

Brandon’s mother, Bridget Alex, remembers the frantic call she received from the sitter.  “She was like, ‘I’ve called 911 like, I keep calling them and they keep hanging up on me,” Alex said that when the babysitter finally got through, she was placed on hold for more than 30 minutes.

Alex hurried home to find her baby barely breathing and her sitter still on hold with 911. She rushed Brandon to the emergency room and he later died.

“This is a pain that will never go away,” she said.

What Bridget Alex didn’t know at the time was that her babysitter’s 911 call was one of the hundreds put on hold in Dallas that night. A month earlier, Dallas police announced the city had experienced “issues” with “multiple 911 hang-up calls” made from mobile devices “without the users’ knowledge.”

It’s unclear whether a faster response would have saved Brandon’s life. What is clear is that Dallas is not the only city in the nation with a system that can’t distinguish between a live caller and a hang-up or a glitch in the system.

Some local governments divert 911 fees to other uses instead of upgrading EMS call systems

Experts and government officials say 911 systems across the country are dangerously outdated and putting lives at risk, while 911 fees consumers pay on monthly phone bills to maintain and upgrade the systems are often diverted by states for other uses. In fact, Scripps found that two dozen states were named “diverters” by the FCC at least once from 2008-2015, and some were repeat offenders. Experts warn that the nation’s antiquated patchwork of 911 systems is an easy target for hackers who want to wreak havoc and criminals who want to hijack 911 and demand a ransom.

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