Chiefs 'Not Happy' Over 911 Director's Inaction - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Chiefs 'Not Happy' Over 911 Director's Inaction

911 Director RoxAnn Brown 911 Director RoxAnn Brown
Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas
Fire Chief Stephen Halford Fire Chief Stephen Halford
A NewsChannel 5 investigation has now led to changes in how Nashville's 911 operators answer your calls for an ambulance.

But it's something that 911 director RoxAnn Brown should have taken care of long ago -- at least, that what her bosses are now telling our chief investigative reporter Phil Williams.

The new policy is aimed at stopping 911's rigid adherence to a checklist that sometimes had call takers bombarding frantic callers with questions, instead of just sending help.

"If people are screaming and need help, we have a duty and a responsibility to get someone there as quickly as we possibly can and then ask questions along the way," Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas tells Phil Williams.

Serpas heads the board that oversees the 911 center, along with Fire Chief Stephen Halford.

"If you are doing CPR, the person is obviously in cardiac arrest, so dispose of the questions," Halford adds.

After our exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation raised questions about problems inside 911, the chiefs had some tough questions of their own.

"The board was under the impression that this had been put in place before," Serpas says.

Last week, they ordered 911 boss RoxAnn Brown to implement the new policy.

Serpas e-mailed her:

"Frankly, we believed this had been done, per our direction, long ago.... "Make no mistake; it is to be implemented immediately."

Williams tells Serpas, "As I read this, you're not happy with Ms. Brown."

"I'm not happy that what the board thought was in place was not in place," the police chief answers.

It was a discovery that, Serpas says, led to some straight talk.

"A week ago yesterday, the board had a very straightforward conversation with Ms. Brown (about) our expectations, our perceptions and our resolute understanding that we now know what each other wants."

In fact, Brown's management had her on the hot seat with Metro council members more than a year ago. Back then, her bosses came to her defense.

"Does Ms. Brown have your full confidence?" Williams asks Serpas.

"I think Ms. Brown is probably one of the most technically proficient people in her business, and it's our duty to help her in the areas where she can do better," the police chief replies. "And, in this case, we want to do better."

"But does she have you full confidence?" Williams again asks.

Breaking into a grin, Serpas answers, "My job is to ensure that she does her job."

And Ms. Brown has apparently gotten the message.

She says she understands the importance of the new policy and that her staff is busy implementing it -- apparently, no questions asked.

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