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Crosscurrents

"The Race to an Emergency": A KALW News documentary tracing the path of a 9-1-1 call in Oakland

If you’ve ever picked up the phone to call 9-1-1, you or someone else probably needed help. Badly. And you probably assumed that after dialing those three numbers, help would come screeching around the corner, lights and sirens blaring.

Well, the residents of East and West Oakland say that depends on where you live.  In this special hour-long KALW documentary, “The Race to an Emergency” host Martina Castro and reporter Ali Budner trace the path of a 9-1-1 call in Oakland: from the dispatchers to the emergency responders. And they consider how geography and demographics figure into a crisis that has been brewing in Oakland for decades.

Click the player to listen to the hour-long documentary. For more information, links to sources, photos and data maps, please visit the documentary website, www.theracetoanemergency.org.  

Note: This piece first aired on October 8th, 2013.  To see the original post and hear the audio from that airing, click HERE.  

Ali Budner came to KALW as a volunteer reporter with Crosscurrents in early 2009, then joined the Your Call team as a producer in March of 2010. She loves the dynamic daily interactions of live radio and the inspiring guests and listeners that Your Call attracts. She still makes stories for Crosscurrents in her free time.