August 9, 2014 |
Soon, residents in the Pennsylvania suburbs will be able to reach 911 dispatchers by text message. Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Berks Counties agreed Thursday to jointly implement the new technology. Montgomery County officials, who are administering the regional effort, hope to have it up and running by early 2015. That will require new equipment and software and, more important, training dispatchers how to handle emergencies reported in 160 characters or less. "There are plenty of times when the person who needs assistance does not want to be overheard, when a telephone call is not a good idea," said Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. "Talking is better, but we don't want to alert a bad guy, if somebody is hiding or whatever.
August 7, 2014 |
When you call 911 from a mobile phone but do not know your exact location, a complex array of technologies is supposed to lend a hand, automatically transmitting a good estimate of your position to a dispatcher. But when a 14-year-old Philadelphia boy was drowning June 29 in Ocean City, N.J., an accurate electronic location showed up on dispatchers' screens for only two of the four calls seeking help, according to police data. The two callers pinpointed by the automated system were unsure where they were.
July 22, 2014 |
A FORMER Philadelphia police dispatcher and the co-owner of a Frankford auto-body shop pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a bribery scheme involving the tow-trucking biz. Dorian Parsley, 44, the ex-dispatcher, admitted before U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno that she had taken cash bribes from tow-truck operators in exchange for giving them confidential police information about the locations of accident scenes. In a separate hearing before the judge, William Cheeseman, 43, co-owner of the K&B auto-body shop on Kinsey Street near Worth, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery.
May 16, 2014 |
THREE OF the four defendants in an alleged bribery scam involving a police dispatcher and three tow-truck operators pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in federal court yesterday. Dorian Parsley, 44, the civilian dispatcher who has since been suspended from the Police Department with intent to dismiss, declined to speak with a reporter afterward. William Cheeseman, 42, of Delran, N.J., an owner of K&B auto-body shop, a family business in Frankford, and Chad Harris, 22, of Philadelphia, a tow-truck operator who at times worked for K&B, also pleaded not guilty yesterday.
May 11, 2014 |
A tow-truck driver with a history and a veteran police dispatcher bent city rules to move one Northeast towing company into the fast lane in the lucrative, rough-and-tumble business of clearing Philadelphia's wrecks, federal prosecutors said Friday. Authorities allege that Dorian Parsley, a 911 dispatcher for 16 years, raked in kickbacks for tipping off favored tow truck operators to locations of fender-benders and disabled vehicles reported to the city's call center. In exchange, the drivers paid her up to $200 a week between February 2011 and December 2013 for advance notice of wrecks before official calls were placed to the next towing company up on the city's rotating list.
March 27, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Civil Service Commission today will hear a pitch on how the Nutter administration plans to make staffing changes to ambulance runs - but not without resistance from the union that represents the city's firefighters and paramedics. Nutter is seeking approval from the Civil Service Commission to allow the Fire Department to implement a new deployment plan for 9-1-1 calls - one that replaces the two paramedics who are dispatched with one paramedic and one EMT. Paramedics receive more in-depth training than their EMT counterparts.
March 9, 2014 |
Alex Louin said the Mount St. Joseph basketball team didn't talk about it. Not a single word. But the Magic surely were thinking about it, the senior guard conceded, and they weren't going to let it happen again. The it refers to Friday night's return to the Cheltenham gym, site of a heartbreaking, one-point loss in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA state tournament last year. Back on that court for the first round of this season's state playoffs, the Magic dominated every facet of the game against Cardinal O'Hara and defeated the Lions in impressive fashion, 68-32.
March 4, 2014 |
Mary Y. Holcombe, 72, a former Philadelphia radio dispatcher and the widow of Fire Capt. David Holcombe, who died in the One Meridian Plaza fire in 1991, died Saturday, Feb. 8, of lung cancer at her home in San Rafael, Calif. In 1998, Mrs. Holcombe retired from the Philadelphia Police Department, where she had worked in the radio room for many years. Before that, she worked briefly as a pharmacy technician at a drugstore in the city. David Holcombe, commander of Engine Company 11 at Sixth and South Streets, was one of three firefighters killed Feb. 23, 1991, during the 12-alarm blaze at One Meridian Plaza.
January 27, 2014 |
Kaelyn Johns has great hands. Wearing goalie gloves in the fall, the Downingtown East junior earned 13 shutouts as the Cougars reached the District 1 Class AAA final and the state quarterfinals in girls' soccer. In the winter, Johns sheds the gloves to play guard for the Cougars in basketball, using her athleticism and soft touch to find teammates seemingly anywhere on the floor. Saturday, her hands didn't put the ball in the hoop many times, but they did a lot of other important things really well as East took care of Freire Charter, 50-30, in a nonleague game.
January 11, 2014 |
The message Terry Rakowsky relayed to his Central Bucks West girls' basketball players at practice on Wednesday was to step out on the basketball court with a lot of energy and emotion. That was something his team hadn't done in its previous contest, and it really hurt then. From the opening tip to the final buzzer Thursday night at North Penn, the Bucks were fired up. There were emphatic high-fives after big plays. There were powerful fist pumps followed by trips to the foul line.