Medical Alert Story from the Rescue Alert of California™ Call Center
Rescue Alert of California’s™ call center often receives calls referred to as “no contact” situations, where the subscriber presses their medical alert button but is unable to communicate verbally with the call center due to inability to speak or distance from the button or the medical alert base unit. One such story was recently released from the Rescue Alert of California™ call center, and due to quick thinking, the call center assured that the senior was found and taken care of:
“Every day, the response center receives accidental activations from the pendants worn by customers. If the customer is in the home trying to open a jar, or just bumped the button by accident, it is easy to confirm that everything is okay. However, the customer is often out of voice range and unable to respond. The response center refers to such an alarm as a “no contact” alarm. This situation is where an alarm is received and no one answers over the alarm unit and no one answers the home phone. Because animals love the lights on the alarm unit, it is often the case that an alarm is activated by a paw instead of a hand. Cats, with their playful ways, are often to blame for paramedics responding with lights and sirens to a location where no people are home.
There is no way to know if help is actually needed in a “no contact” situation. For this reason, every alarm is considered an emergency until it is proven to be otherwise. In some cases, the customer is not able to reach a telephone or speak loud enough to explain what is happening.
One customer found that weeding flower beds could turn into an emergency. The response center received a “no contact” alarm and tried to reach the customer over the alarm unit and home telephone with no success. Emergency services were dispatched and the paramedics arrived and were unable to find anyone in the home. The 911 dispatcher called the response center to advise that no one was home, but the response center was still getting intermittent signals from the button. Emergency services kept looking around the home and the surrounding property to cover the 600 foot range of the button. Finally, the customer was located in a deep window well where she had fallen while reaching for her gardening tools.
Overall, accidental activations are a common occurrence and even in “no contact” situations the majority of alarms are closed with no help being needed. Customers can rest assured that even if he or she is unable to communicate with the response center, the signal will be received and help will be sent. Our hope is that every customer will be found safe and sound.”
Response Center Director