"Even the Domino's app can tell where you are": John Oliver unpacks deadly deficiencies at 911 dispatch centers

It's not enough for John Oliver to save journalism. Now he has to save lives, too


Brendan Gauthier
May 16, 2016 4:10PM (UTC)

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver this week devoted his primary segment to 911, or "the thing you call right after WebMD tells you you're not going to be able to get it out on your own."

"We have a lot of faith in 911," Oliver explained. "But the system can break down more that you think and when it does, people can die as a result."

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Oliver rolled a "Today Show" clip detailing the tragic death of Shanell Anderson, who accidentally turned her car into a pond in suburban Atlanta while delivering newspapers in the dark. Anderson gave 911 her exact location, but an error on the dispatcher's end meant she couldn't be located.

Oliver noted that in a 2014 report, the FCC concluded, "we estimate that the location accuracy improvements ... could save approximately 10,120 lives annually."

And one logical improvement, he said, would be the same up-to-date location finding technology that even the most trivial smartphone apps feature.

"Even the Domino's app can tell where you are," he added. "And they've barely mastered the technology to make a palatable pizza."

Watch the full segment below:


Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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9/11 Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

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