Sunday, April 17, 2005

Property vs Life

I'm sorry but this post relates to my job again, as I'm sure many more will but something happened at work today that made me think. I received a 911 call today from a lady who had a grass fire approaching her house. This lady was quite upset on the phone and she keep yelling at me at getting upset as I asked her the questions I was required. This seems to be a common trend, there is a possibility that there is a fire in or near ones house and they are distraught on the phone. I can understand that a fire is a big thing that can be scary, but all the fire calls I had noone was in anysort of danger. Now we look at the 911 calls I receive for ambulance and the callers are far more calm and easy to talk to, even if the call involve the loved one of someone who is very sick, injured, or dying. Yet they are calm on the phone as they tell me about how their loved one is dying. It seems strange to me that the distruction of one's property would envoke a higher emotional response than a sick or injured person you know.


At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it that simple? When a 911 call is made about an accident, the accident has already happened - emotions are running high, but many people are in a state of shock, whether the deep physiological state, or (one I've experienced a few times) just a deadening of all those emotions until it's time to fall apart.

Fire is a whole other matter. Fire is "uncontrolled", at the mercy of the winds, humidity, etc. In the past couple of years we have heard of numerous fires engulfing many sq. km. of land/forest, threatening communities, that all started as grass fires. We've all seen people interviewed outside their destroyed homes, and although all are thankful, they still talk about what they've lost. And for many of us, possessions are very dear and strong links to other people that are gone.

So, knowing how dry it's been the last few years in BC and AB, I am not surprized at all at the panic you need to wade through on those calls. As you're asking me all those questions, the fire keeps getting bigger, or closer, I'm terrified, and I need someone here NOW. YOU know nothing usually comes of those fires, but panic and logic don't mix.


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