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Archive for October, 2009

More reports of 9-1-1 calls going unanswered surface

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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After a group of people said they had trouble contacting 9-1-1 to report a fire over the weekend, another woman says they’re not alone.

Tonya Gore says her calls to 9-1-1 were a matter of life and death, but on more than one occasion the phone just kept ringing.

Gore says twice last month her unanswered calls nearly cost her husband his life. Her husband suffers from the lung disease COPD. Last month she called 9-1-1 when he was having difficulty breathing.

“It took at least five calls to get anybody to answer. My mom was actually on a land line phone trying at the same time,” Gore said.

A few weeks later it happened again. This time Gore says it took more than 10 calls before someone answered. “My husband was turning blue by the time the paramedics got there because of having to call so many times.”

Tuesday we tried to call 9-1-1 administration for answers, and it took a while before they returned our calls, too.

9-1-1 communications manager Debora Cottle says unanswered calls are often the result of the system being flooded with calls. “If you do run into that situation where 9-1-1 does not answer, if you know the seven digit number, call the seven digit number, if not dial 0, get your operator and let them know that you’ve tried to dial 9-1-1 and it’s not getting through and you need assistance and have them try to connect you.”

In New Hanover County the seven digit number is 452-6120. She also says operators will call back any hang-ups.

Cottle urges people not to give up calling 9-1-1 if they are in an emergency. Those calls get priority. “Our non emergency numbers roll over, so if the first number is busy it automatically rolls over to the second. The same thing happens to our twelve 9-1-1 lines.”

But Gore is worried that waiting for a 9-1-1 operator to answer could cost someone their life. “Makes me feel like people don’t care, I mean somebody could die because of that situation, it’s heartless.”

As we told you yesterday, a group of neighbors near Monkey Junction said they had trouble getting through to 9-1-1 operators over the weekend.

Emergency Management Director Warren Lee told us he is investigating that situation, but would not comment further until he can interview the operators who were on duty.

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videoAfter a group of people said they had trouble contacting 9-1-1 to report a fire over the weekend, another woman says they’re not alone.

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Senior citizens visited by local fire departments

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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Members of local fire departments are getting to know the senior citizens they serve. Wilmington and New Hanover County firefighters, including both departments’ chiefs, delivered meals to seniors Tuesday, and checked to make sure they have working smoke detectors.

The departments teamed up with the New Hanover County Senior Center for the annual Meals on Wheels program.

New Hanover County Fire Chief Donnie Hall said, “Most of the time we find working smoke detectors, which is great. Occasionally, we run across the few that might need some attention and fill out referral cards and have our staff to come out and install free smoke detectors for these folks.”

The firefighters will be visiting senior citizens all week as part of National Fire Prevention Month.

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Members of local fire departments are getting to know the senior citizens they serve. Wilmington and New Hanover County firefighters, including both departments’ chiefs, delivered meals to seniors Tuesday.

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Public showers on Riverwalk – welcome sight for boaters or homeless attraction?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

By Patrick GannonPatrick.Gannon@StarNewsOnline.com

On Tuesday night, city council will decide whether to award a $101,152 contract to Integrity Builders of Wilmington to build two restrooms and showers for use by transient boaters at the existing Tour Information Center at Riverfront Park near Water and Market streets.

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Carolina Beach Police looking for graffiti vandals

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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The Carolina Beach Police Department needs your help making an arrest. The Carolina Beach Skate Park was hit with graffiti over the weekend.

A $100 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.

If you have any information, call the police department at 910-458-2540.

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The Carolina Beach Police Department needs your help making an arrest. The Carolina Beach Skate Park was hit with graffiti over the weekend.

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Some unexpected foods causing food poisoning

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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Though salmonella scares have made the dangers of eating raw or undercooked meat and eggs common knowledge, a new report finds that many other, more unexpected, foods also make the FDA’s “high risk” food list.

Using data on food-borne illness outbreaks over the base 20 years, researchers ranked the ten riskiest FDA-regulated foods. Beef, the #1 cause of food-borne illness, was not included in the list as the FDA does not regulate beef production.

Leafy greens topped the list, causing 363 outbreaks and over 13,000 reported cases of illness since 1990. Eggs and dairy products, such as cheese and ice cream, were also high on the list and these three products alone were responsible for over 500 outbreaks and 16,000 reported cases of food poisoning.

Other foods to make the list included tomatoes, oysters, potatoes, tuna, sprouts, and berries. Together these nutritionally healthy but potentially risky foods were responsible for nearly 600 outbreaks and over 18,000 reported illnesses.

To reduce the risk of food-borne illness, the FDA recommends that you wash fresh produce before eating, and refrigerate produce within two hours of peeling or cutting. Also, try not to buy bruised or damaged produce and discard the outer layers of green leafy vegetables.

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Though we are often wary of the risks associated with eating undercooked meat or eggs, a new report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest finds that a lot of food poisoning cases are caused by some unexpected foods.

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