Sunday, November 9, 2014

All's Well That Ends Well

AFD and UMPD on scene UMass Lederle Tower early last night

The one call I hate to hear is what is known as a Q5, public safety code for suicide.  Oftentimes with a kind of tension in the voice of the first responder that you do not normally hear for all the other emergencies they deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Last night around 7:20 pm a father called UMass Dispatch (which is not affiliated with the town of Amherst Dispatch) to report his son had just threatened to jump from Lederle Tower.  Considering he was in the Tower at the time of the call, a threat to be taken quite seriously.

Immediately a bevy of UMPD officers responded, found him pretty much within minutes, and called AFD for a "section 12" (psyche evaluation) transport to the Cooley Dickinson Hospital. 

His parents, who live in a nearby town (suburb of Springfield), headed there as well. Hopefully a happy ending.  Or at the very least, certainly not the sorrowful ending that could easily have resulted.

In other words, the system worked.

But I wonder and worry what would have happened had this harrowing call come in later in the night (or early in the morning), on those special days in a college town when rowdyism gets completely out of control?

When all our ambulances are tied up carting drunk students to CDH, and police -- both UMPD and APD -- are dealing with alcohol fueled mayhem, pushing response times to over an hour?

In other words, next time the system may not work quite so well.


Dr. Ed said...

Are you not in the least bit concerned about what pushed the young man to that point?

I argue that Enku Gelaye needs to explain this situation far more than she needs to explain situations involving the drunken obnoxious schmucks causing problems downtown. The primary purpose of Student Affairs is supposed to be supporting the social, emotional & psychological well-being of students so as to further the academic mission of the institution.

Kinda like how the mission of the APD's weight room is to support the APD's law-enforcement mission (and hence is *not* a zoning violation....).

Planet UMass is not a student-friendly place, and excepting those belonging to special groups, Team Enku doesn't much care about/for the students for whom they are supposed to be responsible.

And this is what happens.

And when the cops have to put the kid into a cage, I argue that Team Enku has failed. (Remember that CCPH is part of UHS which is part of Student Affairs -- remember too that there are reasons why UHS is often called "Death Services.")

Team Enku failed this student, and he's not the only one they've failed -- even more than the infamous Barney Blowout, the untold UMass scandal is the sheer number of students whom they are hauling off to the psych ward.

If you want to talk about the UMass burden on AFD's ambulance services (psychological even more than logistical), you really need to look at the "Psychological" runs aw well as the "ETOH" ones...

Anonymous said...

ed, why would a weight room be a zoning violation?

Anonymous said...

Ed, in spite of the excellent student affairs office and their work there will still be kids with social, emotional & psychological issues, just like how in spite of the APD's weight room there will still be fat, out of shape cops.

I believe Gelaye is one of our very finest Massachusetts state employees.

Anonymous said...

If Gelaye is one of the best of the
Commonwealth's employees, it is time to start the revolution now...

prof RM said...

Um the system did not work, you are blogging about suicide. If it worked you would be blogging about how we can let some police retire, not constantly wanting more enforcement and more laws.

Plus stopping this clearly unstable guy for a few minutes may not make a difference, in fact, it could lead to escalation, more deaths or hurt.

Either he is mentally ill or the system, his parents, his friends etc. clearly did not work. Even if he is mentally ill, the system failed in catching it before he was going to stain the entire community in more ways than one.

Larry Kelley said...

I see you had a cup of compassion for breakfast this morning.