Driving to school this morning1, I got to the edge of campus and saw a Toyota Yaris with its left front end smashed in and sitting in the bushes of one of the university lots.

    Ouch, looks like something went wrong.

I see a guy running down the sidewalk, I think he's the driver…he's running towards another car, a Honda Accord parked on the side of the road, I drive by and look in the rear-view mirror. A bunch of people just came out of the building, and I see the car's left fender is also smashed and the driver's slumped over on the side.


I call 911—I've never needed to before, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

For emergency service press any key...

What on earth? I thought this was 911 what else would I be calling for? A burrito?

I get transferred, oh great, 911 has an automated response. Okay, I've heard the stories about the budget problems in the County of Los Angeles and how it's affected 911. Understood.

All operators are currently busy…please stay on the line.

Okay, I'm getting tired of this, someone might be seriously hurt and I can't get an operator. I hang up and call the University Police, maybe they might get more attention than someone on a cell phone. They pick up and say they'll send someone over. Okay, I guess that's all I can do. There's enough people over there already who were attending to the situation while I was waiting on hold.

I park my car and get out and head to class. I see the Los Angeles County Fire Department on scene and I'm glad that there's been a response to the accident…but I hung up on 911, aren't they supposed to call me back?

I take the 10 minute walk to the class and I keep wondering…are they ever going to call me?

It's been more than 12 hours and no one's called back, and I wonder: Is the last thing I am going to hear when I really need emergency help going to be?

All operators are currently busy…please stay on the line.

1.  Well, it was Monday morning...but is it really important?