orbitaldiamonds: Rose Tyler from DW, text: "bugger" ([ dr who ] rose: "bugger")
The Patriotic Earthling ([personal profile] orbitaldiamonds) wrote2010-04-19 03:28 am

Feeling safe, Iowa? (TRIGGER WARNING)

Okay, so this actually happened yesterday morning, but I still need to vent.

Trialia and I were talking on Google Talk, and a friend of hers who lives in Dubuque was feeling suicidal. I don't feel the details are mine to disclose but suffice it to say, things were going very, very badly for this friend.

She had tried to reach the Dubuque Police Department, with no luck. The main line was closed since it was Sunday. I tried calling. No luck.

I got the idea to call the local fire department, so they could hook me up with the emergency line, since I wasn't nearly close enough to call 911 and get the Dubuque line. I got their answering machine too.


After some more thinking (and some fooding) I though, well, how 'bout a crisis hotline? And guess what?

I got a fucking answering machine at the fucking suicide hotline.

There was even a "press 4 to talk to a real person" WHICH TOOK ME RIGHT BACK TO THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE. I found this out after pressing four times and realizing I was getting THE SAME DAMN MESSAGE.

I was out of ideas by then. I went to Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone was (or knew someone who was) close enough to Dubuque to call 911 and get someone to check on the friend. It was around that time that Tria was able to reach the Cedar Rapids police department, which went to go check on her friend.

So for all of that...


Not that I think it's just Iowa. I'm sure many states (FSM forbid, even most) would have the same problem. And I think it's fucking ridiculous.

Come on now, how many times have we seen on the news where someone was stopped from killing themself (or someone else) because the local police got a call from an online friend on the other side of the country, or the world?

There needs to be a line, easy to look up online, that anyone can call (or instant-message) anywhere in the world, from which an operator can call the local 911 in a situation like this. Hell, I bet there are lots of people (myself included) out there who'd volunteer to do that kind of thing if they had all the information they needed.


Well, I guess that's it. No way for someone outside Dubuque to call authorities (or even the suicide hotline!) in Dubuque to stop a potential suicide on a Sunday. This is a FAIL.

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