NBC 5 Investigates has been following the case of Duane Raible, a Pennsylvania man who was alone in his Chicago hotel room last October when he suffered a severe stroke. He couldn't reach the hotel phone from his bed, so he called Chicago 911 on his cell phone.
911 operators would not send help unless Raible gave them the actual address of his hotel -- even though a 911 supervisor could have quickly looked up the address. This is a transcript of Raible's calls to 911, which NBC has annotated with notes about when Raible gives the 911 operators key information, and when operators get consistent location information, which they apparently did not act on.)
1:53:15am Call starts with ring tone.
1:53:17am 911 -- (Tone) – Chicago Emergency….
1:53:20am Raible – Yes sir, I need help.
1:53:22am 911 -- Alright, what’s wrong?
1:53:24am Raible – I’m in the Thompson Chicago Hotel.
(Raible gives his location for the first time at 1:53:24am – nine seconds after he called for help)
1:53:29am 911 – You’re what?
1:53:31am Raible -- (Unintelligible)
1:53:33am Raible – Sorry, it’s hard to talk.
(Raible reports a MAJOR SIGN of a stroke at 01:53:33am -- eighteen seconds into his call.)
1:53:35am 911 – Alright, do you need an ambulance? Do you need the police? What do you need?
1:53:38am Raible – An ambulance, sir.
1:53:39am 911 – Alright, hold on, let me get you the paramedics to speak to.
1:53:44am (Call transfers to Fire Department Dispatcher)
1:53:45am CFD – (Tone) (Ring) – Chicago Fire Department….
(NBC5 Investigates has analyzed the OEMC "Event Query Reports" pertaining to this call, that show that Raible's phone first "pinged" its location to 911 at this point in the call. This kind of "ping" -- known as Automatic Location Information or ALI -- is not always accurate. In this case, however, it was close: This first ALI report put Raible's phone at 1-15 East Oak Street, about a block south of his hotel.)
1:53:52am Raible – Uh, ma’am, I need help.
1:53:55am CFD – Okay, so what sort of help are you looking for, sir?
1:53:58am Raible – Medical – there’s something wrong – I thought it was food-poisoning --
1:54:04am CFD – So what is that you’re looking for, sir?
1:54:06am Raible – An ambulance. I’m dizzy; my face is going numb.
(Raible reports a SECOND MAJOR SIGN of a stroke at 01:54:06am – 51 seconds into his call.)
1:54:10am CFD -- So what is your address, sir?
1:54:13am Raible – I’m at the Thompson Chicago Hotel.
(Raible gives his location for the second time, at 1:54:13am. It’s now been 58 seconds since he called for help.)
1:54:16am CFD – Okay, so I need you to look on a business card or something and see what the address is, sir.
(At this point, Raible has lost more than two million brain cells since he first placed his call.)
1:54:23am Raible – (pause) Oh, I’m in – I’m so dizzy I can’t stand up—
(Raible reports a THIRD MAJOR SIGN of a stroke at 01:54:23am -- 1 minute and 7 seconds into his call.)
1:54:27am CFD – Okay, but, sir, I’m trying to send you an ambulance, and without an address, I can’t do that, so, I’m simply asking you to look on a business card, or your receipt, or whenever you checked in the hotel, there’s got to be an address there.
(NBC5 Investigates has learned that this dispatcher could have activated a light on her console, to have a supervisor look up the hotel's address on an internet-connected laptop device. There's absolutely no indication that anyone did that, with Raible's calls.)
1:54:37am Raible – (pause)
1:54:39am Raible – (breathing)
1:54:44am Raible – (breathing)
1:54:47am Raible – (pause)
1:54:50am Raible – The Thompson Chicago Hotel.
(Raible gives his location for the third time, at 1:54:50am. It’s now been 1 minute, 35 seconds since he called for help.)
1:54:53am CFD –I understand, sir, but I’m not there. You are, so I need you to help yourself here, a little bit, and get us an address, so that we can get you an ambulance.
1:55:01am Raible – (pause)
1:55:04am Raible – (pause)
1:55:08am Raible – (breathing)
1:55:11am Raible – (breathing)
1:55:12am CFD -- You -- you obviously checked in there, sir, I mean, so look at – look at – a business card; um, look at your smartphone, when you went there, how did you – how did you get there? Did you drive there?
1:55:23am Raible – (breathing) – Took an Uber.
1:55:27am CFD – Okay. So when – so when you plugged in the Uber, okay – look at your – look at your app.
1:55:33am Raible – (breathing)
1:55:34am CFD – I’m trying to send you help, but we can’t do that without an address.
1:55:35am Raible – (pause)
1:55:38am Raible – Okay I’ll call the front desk—
1:55:39am CFD – Okay, that’s a good idea. We’ll stay on the phone. P.D., you guys can definitely disconnect.
1:55:44am 911 – Okay.
1:55:45am Raible – (pause)
1:55:49am (End of call)
(It’s now 1:55:49 – 2 minutes and 34 seconds since he called for help.)
(At this point, Raible has lost more than five-and-a-half million brain cells since he first placed his call.)
(After he hangs up, Raible has to figure out how to do what the dispatcher didn’t do – search for the street of the address of the hotel. He can’t get off the bed, but then has an idea to ask Siri, on his iPhone, for the address. The process takes him 4 minutes and 20 seconds.)
(After Raible ends his first call, his phone's Automatic Location Information is recorded in OEMC's second Event Query Report. That report shows that at 1:57:53am, Raible's cellphone reported its location at 1024 North Rush Street -- directly across from his hotel. However, the record shows no indication that 911 operators acted on that information, after Raible hung up.)
(As Raible struggles to find the address, he’s now lost more than ten million brain cells – or neruons. “That is enough time for someone to lose their ability to understand or lose their memory of a grandchild,” says one neurologist.)
(It’s now 2:00:09 – 6 minutes and 54 seconds since he originally called for help – and he’s having to call again.)
Second call from Duane Raible to Chicago 911 - October 2nd, 2019 – 02:00:09am:
2:00:09am 911 – (Tone) Chicago Emergency….
2:00:13am Raible – Yes sir, I need a, uh, ambulance – paramedic.
2:00:16am 911 – Okay, hold for the fire department. Don’t hang up.
2:00:19am (Tone while call is transferred)
2:00:19am CFD -- (Tone) (Ring) Fire Department.
2:00:24am Raible – Yes, sir, I’m having a medical problem. I’m in a hotel and I need help.
2:00:31am CFD – What – what hotel you in? Where’re you at?
2:00:34am Raible – I’m in the, uh, Thompson Chicago.
(Raible gives his location for the fourth time, at 2:00:34am. It’s now been 7 minutes and 19 seconds since he called for help)
2:00:37am CFD – Where’s that at?
2:00:39am Raible – It’s 21 -- East –
2:00:44am Raible -- (pause) -- hang on one second, I have to look at the address –
2:00:51am Raible -- (pause) -- 21 East Bellevue Place.
(Raible is finally able to give the fire department the address – 7 minutes and 36 seconds after he called for help.)
2:00:56am CFD – (pause) -- 21 East –
2:00:58am Raible – (pause)
(During Raible's second call to 911, his cellphone sends more "pings" -- a third and fourth time -- both times giving accurate Automatic Location Information (ALI) with Raible's actual address, at 21 East Bellevue Place. Both of these ALI reports, however, gives different hotel name -- of hotels that used to occupy that property. Even though they are both consistent on the address, there is no indication that the 911 take them into account.)
2:01:01am Raible – (pause)
2:01:03am CFD -- Hello?
2:01:04am Raible – Uh, I’m here. I’m trying to switch the screen to see it.
2:01:08am CFD -- 21 East –
2:01:14am Raible – (pause) Screen won’t switch, to see the app.
2:01:18am CFD – What’s your medical problem?
2:01:20am Raible – I thought it started as food poisoning. I’m [redacted]; my [redacted] hurts really bad, and my left side of my [redacted] is numb.
(Raible again reports a MAJOR SIGN of a stroke at 02:01:20am -- 8 minutes and 5 seconds into his call.)
2:01:32am CFD – How old are you?
2:01:34am Raible – Fifty-two.
2:01:35am CFD – Okay, well, where are you?
2:01:37am Raible – I’m in the hotel room, sir—
2:01:39am CFD –Yeah, give me the address.
2:01:41am Raible – I’m trying to switch – my phone won’t let me switch to—
2:01:45am 911 – Yeah, fire, he actually said 21 East Bellevue Place.
(Only when the CPD officer who first took the call – who’s still listening in – interrupts and repeats to the CFD dispatcher what Raible said, does the CFD dispatcher acknowledge the address, at 2:01:45am – 8 minutes and a half minutes after he called for help). But he still doesn’t request an ambulance.)
(If the first CFD dispatcher had simply had a supervisor Google the address of the Thompson Chicago Hotel, Raible could have gotten help more than eight- minutes sooner than he did. In that lost time, his stroke destroyed more than 16 million of his brain cells; 112 billion synapses, and 60 miles of myelinated fibers.)
2:01:51am CFD – (pause) Bellevue?
2:01:51am 911 – Yeah.
2:01:52am CFD – Okay. (pause) Sir, what room? What floor?
2:01:57am Raible – I’m in room two-zero-zero-four, four-twenty.
2:02:00am CFD – (pause)
2:02:05am CFD – (pause) Okay. Do you take medication for anything? Do you have medical problems?
2:02:09am Raible – No. I just take [redacted].
2:02:13am CFD – Okay – for [redacted]?
2:02:15am Raible – And, um, and [redacted].
2:02:19am CFD – Are you having an anxiety issue?
2:02:21am Raible – [Redacted]. Like I said, I thought it was – uh – uh – like food poisoning, I – I felt – [redacted] - I felt like I could throw up; and—
2:02:35am CFD – You want to go to the hospital?
2:02:37am Raible – I think there’s something wrong.
2:02:39am CFD – You want to go to the hospital?
2:02:41am Raible – Yes, sir, I need help.
2:02:42am CFD – Alright. We’re on our way there. Just – just, you know, open your door and look out for us. We’re on our way. Thanks, police, appreciate it.
2:02:47am 911 – Okay, no problem (tone)
2:02:48am Raible – Thanks.
2:02:50am (End of call)
2:02:54am (Nothing from CFD dispatch)
2:02:57am (Nothing from CFD dispatch)
2:03:00am CFD dispatch orders an ambulance, according to OEMC records.
(It takes ten more seconds, after Raible hangs up, for the 911 operator to dispatch an ambulance to respond to Raible. Four seconds after he hangs up, at 02:03:00am, the 911 operator dispatches an ambulance.)
(That’s nine minutes and 45 seconds since Raible first called for help.)
(And it’s nine minutes and 16 seconds past the time the first dispatcher could have found the hotel address, online.)
(So Raible lost more than 18 million brain cells than he would have, had the first dispatcher simply asked a supervisor to look up the hotel’s address.)