BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — When actress Demi Moore needed an ambulance to come to her home in Beverly Hills recently, she found just how confusing and infuriating the jurisdictions between cities can be.
Moore, 49, was taken to the hospital Monday night following a frantic 911 call that first began with confusion over which city’s fire department should send an ambulance.
Beverly Hills Operator: “Beverly Hills Fire.”
LA City Fire Operator: “Hey Beverly Hills, LA City Fire over here. We got a lady at 9740…”
Woman: “9740 [address redacted] in Beverly Hills. We need an ambulance here as soon as possible please.”
Beverly Hills: “OK. We don’t cover [address redacted]. Is it spelled…[unintelligible]
Woman: “Why is an ambulance not on its way right now?”
Beverly Hills: “Ma’am instead of arguing with me why an ambulance is not on the way, can you spell it for me?”
After the woman spells the street name for the operator…
Beverly Hills: “OK, sir, that’s not going to be ours. My supervisor’s advising me that’s LA City.”
LA City: “That’s coming up in LA City? OK….I will handle it Beverly Hills…”
The exchange over which city fire department should respond to the home took over two minutes. Listen to the audio:
Jurisdictional confusion is a fact of life in Los Angeles and its surrounding cities, where 911 calls made on cell phone calls go straight to the California Highway Patrol, which then has to route the call to the proper agency. The problem is further compounded by many people dropping their landlines, which show emergency dispatchers a physical address, in favor of using their cell phones solely to make calls.
Often, as Moore’s 911 recording demonstrates, even the agencies handling emergency calls aren’t sure about the jurisdictional lines. In some cases, the city’s fire or police department will respond, in others, county fire or the sheriff’s department will answer the call. For freeway and certain highway incidents, the CHP responds.
As for Moore, she is being treated for exhaustion at a rehab center. TMZ reports that Moore’s friends told paramedics the actress was doing “whip-its,” or sniffing canisters like whipped cream for its nitrous oxide. The caller also revealed Moore has been having “issues.”
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