By Elise Solé, Shine Staff | Parenting
The father of a Texas woman who was killed in a hotel room, police believe by her estranged husband, is preserving her memory by lobbying to change 911 laws. He launched a petition which has garnered 342,000 signatures, that could potentially save millions of lives. Last month, authorities said, 31-year-old Kari Rene Hunt Dunn was meeting her soon-to-be ex-husband, Brad Allen Dunn, at the Baymont Inn & Suites in Marshall, Texas. Kari had her kids — aged 9, 4, and 3 — when Brad attacked her with a knife, authorities said. During the struggle, Kari's 9-year-old daughter attempted to call 911 but had no idea she had to dial 9 in order to get an outside line. As a result, her call was blocked by the hotel's phone system. Kari was found dead at the hotel, and Brad has since been arrested and is being held on a $5 million bond.
In response to his daughter's death, Hank Hunt, 54, has launched a Change.org petition urging U.S. lawmakers to enact "Kari's Law" which would require all hotels and motels to update their phone systems to Enhanced 911 (E911), allowing callers to connect to a 911 operator without dialing 9 first. The petition also requests that business telephone systems require those dialing an outside line to press 8, which would reserve the number 9 for dialing 911.
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The petition, addressed to U.S. Congressman Louis Gohmert, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and the Wyndham Hotel Group (the chain that owns the Baymont Inn & Suites), has picked up serious steam. As of Friday morning, it had nearly 342,000 signatures and, according to Change.org representative Shareeza Bhola, it's the fastest-growing petition on the site, having gained more than 300,000 new signatures in the past week. "We pray the lawmakers in our Congress and Senate hear the cries of Kari and her children and enact a law requiring all hotel and motel chains, including all 'Mom & Pop' locations have all phone systems updated to E911 systems," Hunt writes on the Change.org page.
"The E911 system is effective in many states already, but we would like it to be required everywhere — hotels, schools, and office buildings," Hunt tells Yahoo Shine. "When someone calls 911, they're usually in a state of panic and may not realize that they need to dial 9 to get an outside line. My granddaughter is 9 years old and she wasn't taught to dial 9 first."
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Louis Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, agrees that there must be a change. "When a child dials 911, he or she must be able to get through a dispatcher," he tells Yahoo Shine. "We're in the process of researching ways to fix this issue. It may be more difficult with older phone systems, but for the majority, it's as simple as reprogramming. The bottom line is, this is doable."
The issue with calling 911 on multiline systems is three-fold, says Trey Forgety, director of government affairs at the National Emergency Number Association. In addition to the potential confusion about dialing an additional 9 first, there's another serious problem: While many phones have E911 systems in place (which also allow dispatchers to pinpoint the caller's specific location such as a hotel room), many do not. Also, not all hotels are equipped with notification systems that alert the front desk when a guest has dialed 911, which can slow down rescue efforts. "These are all issues we've been actively pursuing but there should be no issue from a technical standpoint," says Forgety.
In the meantime, Hunt hopes that something good can surface from Kari's death. "If these efforts can save just one life, it will be worth it," he says.
Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
Music and lyrics ©1976 by Gordon Lightfoot
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
when the skies of November turn gloomy.
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons
more than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty,
that good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
when the "Gales of November" came early.
The ship was the pride of the American side
coming back from some mill in Wisconsin.
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
with a crew and good captain well seasoned,
concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
when they left fully loaded for Cleveland.
And later that night when the ship's bell rang,
could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
and a wave broke over the railing.
And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too
'twas the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
when the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
in the face of a hurricane west wind.
When suppertime came the old cook came on deck sayin'.
"Fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya."
At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,
"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
and the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when 'is lights went outta sight
came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Does any one know where the love of God goes
when the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
if they'd put fifteen more miles behind 'er.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
they may have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
of the wives and the sons and the daughters.
Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
in the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
the islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario takes in
what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
with the Gales of November remembered.
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
in the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral."
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumee."
"Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead
when the gales of November come early!"
I was the son of the late John and Minnie Giorgi who were born in the USA but both sets of my Grand Parents immigrated from Italy through Ellis Island. They came here in search of a better life and to become Americans. I'm very proud of my ancestors even though I never met my Paternal Grand Parents both having died years before I was born.
I went to parochial grammar school and graduated from Port Chester H.S. in 1962 spending 4 years in the Drum Line of the H.S. band. I began school to become an X-Ray Technologist in October of 1962 at The Hew York Hospital School of Radiography. After 2 years of school I graduated in October of 1964 and I was one of the 4 from the class that was asked to join the departments staff. I jumped at the chance loving the challenge of working in one of the largest hospitals on the east coast. 10 months later I was drafted into the Army and a year later I was on my way to Vietnam as an individual replacement with orders for the 1st Cav. My orders were changed at the 90th Replacement Battalion in Saigon and I was assigned to the 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division which was an isolated task force at the edge of the Cambodian border placed there by General Westmorland to stop the flow of NVA into the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
I was wounded on 3 July 1966 earning 2 Purple Hearts being wounded twice on the sane day in the same battle that raged for almost 4 hours! We fought the NVA's 66th Regiment which was made famous in the movie "We Were Soldiers Once" starring Mel Gibson.
After the war I went back to my job at NYH where I met my soon to be wife Barbara who after 42 years I'm still happily married to. We have 2 sons Scott and Todd. Todd my youngest is married to my daughter in law Anna Ponieros Giorgi and my first born Scott will marry Laura Ferraro on 11/11 of this year. After 18 total years in X-Ray I was in need of a change in my life due to PTSD although I didn't know or recognize this at the time. All I know is I had to do something more exciting and challenging. They say that once you've been exposed to combat you always are in search of the challenge and excitement that combat offers. I went to school to become a paramedic at Cabrini Medical Center in lower Manhattan and was hired by NYC/EMS after graduation. I started working for them on 6/16/80. Being a paramedic kept me in medicine and gave me that challenge so it was just what I needed at the time. 22 years later and 1 year after nine eleven I had had enough and I'm now retired living in Rye Brook, NY with my wife and family near by.
We have a female Basset Hound Chloe who is going on 11 years old this June 21st.
(Scroll down to view the slideshow, hover the mouse over the picture & click 'play')
One is of me being awarded my Purple Heart in my hospital bed at St. Alban's Naval Hospital, and there are a few of a group I played with after the war. There's a lot so you decide which ones you think will work best with what you will be posting. I like them all and I'm including a fairly recent picture of me with my wife Barbara and my 2 sons Scott and Todd.
I included an article from a Civil Service Newspaper that has the list of when NYC made the Paramedic title a Civil Service position. I was first on that list so essentially I was the first Paramedic in the history of Paramedics in NYC/EMS to be given a Civil Service title! I was very proud of this when you consider how many medics citywide that applied to be on that list and have some job protection. I beat out my close friend and fellow Vietnam Vet Gus Pappas who was a Combat Medic with The Marines earning a Purple Heart. After 20 years in Harlem I left the street to be his aide at the EMS Academy while he completed 30 years on the job!! He never had an aide but told Chief Andy McCracken he would have one for his last year but it had to be me or no one! Medics were not allowed to be aides but Chief McCracken knew toe connection that we had as Vietnam Vets plus he also recognized that I did 20 years on the Ambulance so he made a one time exception.
I included when I received the "Pintchik Humanitarian Award." Mr. Pintchik owned a chain of Paint stores throughout the city and went into Cardiac Arrest at a function. An M.D. at the affair pronounced him but when our Medics Carl Tromantona and Kevin Honig arrived they wouldn't accept his pronouncement and they resuscitated him which gave him an additional 3 years with his family. The Pintchik family to show their appreciation and their father's love for the street workers in EMS, hosted the annual awards banquet that EMS held to honor that year's medal recipients. The first Pintchik award was given to an administrator with BRAVO Ambulance Corps in Brooklyn where Dan began his career I believe. EMS was told by the family that they want the award to go to someone who works the Ambulance because that's who their father was closest to. I was the first uniformed person to receive that prestigious award!!!
Also included is the EMS Magazine article for an annual competition they held to select the best EMS provider in the country. I was one of the runner ups! There's a small interview I did over the phone with JEMS magazine.
From the Detroit News by Jaclyn Trop
Last fall, Ford Motor Co. retired its Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, a veteran of police departments across the United States. Its retirement after a run that began in the early '90s left a void in the ranks that General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC have rushed to fill.
GM and Chrysler have three vehicles each — a mix of SUVs, trucks and sedans — that they hope will earn their stripes. But Ford hopes to preserve the Crown Victoria's 70 percent market share with two rookies modeled on the Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer.
Police fleet sales help automakers achieve high visibility and a reputation for producing durable cars. While overall sales numbers are relatively small, sticker prices can reach $70,000 per police vehicle.
The Big Three's lineup of six pursuit vehicles is the strongest offering in recent years, according to Sgt. Jim Flegel of the Michigan State Police's precision driving unit, which road-tests police vehicles annually. After testing last fall, state police decided to replace the Crown Victoria with Chrysler's Dodge Charger Pursuit as its primary patrol car. In March, the state police ordered 198 Charger Pursuits, as well as 50 Chevy Tahoes and 20 Ford Police Interceptor Utilities, Flegel said.
"The patrol cars are increasingly getting better every year," Flegel said. "All the manufacturers want to produce the best-quality patrol car out there."
It's too early for hard sales numbers, but the Chicago Police Department recently said it would spend $3.5 million on 100 Ford Police Interceptor sedans and SUVs made at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant.
The shakeup comes as the police vehicle industry records declining sales. Sales were about 35,000 units last year, compared to a peak of about 55,000 units in 2006, according to Lisa Teed, Ford Police Interceptor marketing manager.
But the market is ripe for Ford and its rivals: Several police agencies that held off buying new cars during the economic downturn are ready to invest in new patrol vehicles.
Some police departments stockpiled the Crown Vics before Ford's final production run. They liked the car's rear-wheel drive for high-speed chases. And its body-on-frame structure made it easier to fix and swap parts within the fleet.
The Sacramento Police Department, for example, recently ordered 30 to 50 of the same Crown Vics its officers have driven for years, said Sgt. Andrew Pettit. The department hasn't decided which vehicles it will order when it comes time to retire its fleet.
Crown: 'A dinosaur' Ford canceled the Crown Vic because it would have been too expensive to comply with new standards for fuel economy and rollover and roof crush protection, according to Aaron Bragman, a senior analyst with IHS Automotive.
"In order to update it, they'd pretty much have to redo the entire car," Bragman said. "It's kind of a dinosaur, and to update it wouldn't be worth it."
The Charger Pursuit, created for police use only, went on sale last spring to replace the Charger Police Vehicle. Chrysler added two special service vehicles — a Ram truck and Durango SUV — that will be sold later this year to broaden the automaker's reach and cater to officers who need to go off road or carry cargo.
"Of course we saw an opportunity in the market" with the retirement of the Crown Victoria, said Chris Ellis, Chrysler director of government fleet sales and operations.
The Durango will compete against Chevy's Tahoe, which dominates the police SUV market.
General Motors hopes to gain share in each market segment with its 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe, Impala and Caprice models, said Dana Hammer, manager for law enforcement vehicles. "We have a complete portfolio of vehicles to meet every customer's needs," Hammer said.
The Chevy Tahoe is "growing exponentially" and has the advantage of being the market's only body-on-frame model, Hammer said. The model comes in rear-wheel drive for high-speed pursuit vehicles, and four-wheel-drive for special service.
The Chevy Caprice, resurrected last year after being discontinued in 1996, is the largest sedan in the police market and is gaining sales momentum, Hammer said. Like the other automakers, he would not disclose sales figures.
The third GM police vehicle, the Chevy Impala, has been a police department staple for 10 years.
Its new powertrain and chassis for 2012 is the most economical model, with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that gets 28 miles per gallon, according to Hammer.
Ford has advantage Ford is promoting its Police Interceptor models for their fuel efficiency: The 3.5-liter, V6 engine in the Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle get at least 25 percent better gas mileage than the Crown Vic's 4.6-liter V8 — an especially significant feature since police cars idle an average of 6.5 hours every 10-hour shift.
"We're very confident in what they're doing," said Kevin Koswick, Ford North America fleet director. "Make no mistake about it. Our goal is to maintain our business."
Analysts say it's too soon to tell how the market will shake out this year, but Ford has the advantage of being an incumbent with a loyal following.
Ford's task is to convince buyers that the Dearborn automaker's models still reign supreme, Bragman said.
"The fleet buyers are fairly loyal," Bragman said.
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