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NBC News Report: US Postal Service Policy Found to Cause Delays in 9-1-1 Reporting

Date: 2014-11-18
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A 9-1-1 policy may have caused critical delays in a life and death situation at USPS facility in Oakland

An investigative news report by Vicky Nguyen, Liz Wagner and Felipe Escamilla posted online at NBCBay Area (see link below) has exposed a USPS policy that some say may have contributed to critical time delays in life and death situations.  

When Samuel Macasieb, a postal worker at the west Oakland (CA) processing and distribution center, was found incapacitated after receiving a head trauma last August 8th, no one called 9-1-1.  According to the news report, co-workers followed a mandated polity instead to contact several supervisors and managers who then alerted the onsite postal police department, who finally contacted 9-1-1. “Details in the report show that up to 53 minutes elapsed from the time Macasieb was found to when emergency medical personnel were contacted,” the writers assert.  “According to the USPS, this chain of events wasn’t a mistake. It was a policy.”

“The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has confirmed that the policy at the Oakland distribution facility does in fact dictate that in the event of a medical emergency, an employee must find a supervisor, who must contact the postal police and ask them to call 9-1-1,” the news report continues.  “The policy states, ‘Only the Postal Police are to initiate the 9-1-1 procedure.’”  

After the call to 9-1-1, paramedics responded in seven minutes and transported Macasieb to Highland Hospital in Oakland. But Macasieb didn’t wake up from his coma, and was later taken off life support. It is not certain if his outcome would have been different if 9-1-1 had been called sooner, but it’s a question that lingers with his wife, as well as his co-workers.

According to the news team’s investigation, many USPS employees have complained that the USPS’s 9-1-1 procedure prevented Macasieb from receiving emergency medical care as soon as possible. “Employees said they want postal service leaders to create a new policy that encourages employees to call 9-1-1 first, then notify their supervisors and the postal police.” 

[The same might be said of any corporation or business whose policy or telephony system does not allow immediate and direct access to 9-1-1 services. – ed.]

After the NBC Investigative Unit began queried a corporate communications manager for the USPS Bay-Valley District (which includes the Oakland facility), the manager stated he would recommend changes to district leaders. 

Click to read full story at nbcbayarea.com

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via NBCBayArea, 11/17/14)

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