Detroit EMS visits residential tower to promote proper 911 usage

Detroit EMS visits residential tower to promote proper 911 usage

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Bicentennial Tower in Detroit averages several hundred 911 calls each year. Bicentennial Tower in Detroit averages several hundred 911 calls each year.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Plagued by budget cuts, Detroit EMS crews have run ragged trying to respond to calls with less manpower, but a growing number of frivolous calls are tying them up when they should be handling "real" emergencies.

Detroit EMS is the busiest ambulance system in the state, and the run volume also ranks high nationally.  2012 exceeded 135,000 calls for help.

"Sometimes people abuse it and call with nonsense," said Toni Ivory.

She lives at the Bicentennial Tower in Midtown.  The high rise averages several hundred 911 calls each year.  Residents said Detroit EMS made a recent visit to encourage them that a 911 call is used for a true emergency.

The biggest repeat customers for EMS runs are the Rosa Parks bus depot downtown and Detroit's three casinos.  Why a high volume of runs to casinos?  An EMS supervisor told me casinos are known to have a strong senior citizen customer base, but the supervisor said there is also a significant percentage of casino employees that use 911, employees that feel ill and may request a check-up, but may or may not decline a trip to the hospital.

Detroit Medical Center's DMC Express has a contract to provide an ambulance for Detroit's three casinos, but if they are busy, Detroit EMS will respond.

Carolyn Terry said Detroit EMS gets a thumbs up for responding quickly to Bicentennial Tower, and she said she and her neighbors know the importance of using 911 for true emergencies only.

"It's always important.  We don't play with 911," she said.

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