A horrific situation where the oft-derided PERS was used correctly in a textbook emergency situation (fall in shower); the call center operator responded with a phone call but after repeated presses of the pendant button, but perhaps no voice contact, failed to then notify emergency services. An example of how technology can work perfectly, but when the human factors fail and minutes count, it is for naught. Florida children suing California-based alert system over mother’s scalding death [Editor’s note: In the article’s comments section, a reader makes the very salient point that the hot water heater should not have been set above 110 degrees F (about 43 degrees C); my research indicates that only 10 degrees F more will scald a child in 10 minutes. However, this doesn’t mitigate the lack of immediate 911 contact by the call center in response to the repeated alarms, as advertised on the company’s website.]
[Editor’s update 14 Jan: Trevor Cradduck’s comment led me back to the original article and it is ambiguous on whether voice contact was made. The button was pressed repeatedly–at least eight times–and the daughter was called after ten minutes, which in a normal fall would have been plenty of time, but in this case not. So this should lead to an examination of the protocol. But rationally–eight presses, no voice contact–which can happen easily in a stroke–should result in a 911 call.
Another sad circumstance that points out that response is everything. Pull cords–v.0 technology–two different ones pulled by an asthma sufferer living in a medically assisted senior housing apartment in Portland, OR. No response. Daughter finds him dead after 12 hours. Another lawsuit. Article.]