The night was dark and I was returning from a trip to the grocery store. I had stopped in a parking lot on the way home to put some things away, and when I went to pull onto the street again, I noticed the traffic was really congested. I had a hard time getting back on the street. As a gap appeared in the line of cars, I saw an accident had occurred. A rollover and the wheels were still spinning. One or two people had already made it over the the vehicle and I pulled over to the side. I pulled out my phone to report the accident that apparently, I had just barely missed witnessing first hand. I dialed 9-1-1. You have reached 911 a masculine recorded voice said, please do not hang up and the next available operator will assist you. I waited and waited, perhaps 4-5 minutes before a different voice came on and said, the person you are trying to reach is not available. Please try again later. I'm not sure if those were the exact words, but that's pretty close.
I redialed 9-1-1, and began getting the same please do not hang up recording I had gotten the first time. I finally heard sirens. Apparently someone had been able to get through, thankfully. By now a large group of people were over there trying to help. While I had been on the phone trying to report the accident, I had seen a guy rush over there with rubber gloves--apparently he had some kind of medical know-how. I'm not sure if any of them had been able to do anything. One guy came back past me and said, "it's bad", and walked on to his vehicle.
I don't know what the outcome was. I do know that if I had been under attack in my home, or my house was on fire, and I had to depend upon the 911 system at that time, I would have been in serious trouble. At least, if someone was intruding at my house I'd know how to defend myself, but other kinds of incidents, such as accidents and fires, require a swift response time. When people's lives are at stake, as in an accident of that magnitude, the system should work better.