Kyle Plush's family said 911 system 'must be changed'

CINCINNATI -- The family of Kyle Plush said they support the Cincinnati City Council's investigations into how the 911 system failed their son and their efforts to improve the system.

Plush, 16, suffocated inside his minivan outside Seven Hills School on April 10. He called 911 twice asking for help before he died, but police officers sent to the school never found him.

Earlier this month, city officials said two firms were looking into what went wrong. 

And last week, Councilwoman Amy Murray attended a national conference on emergency communications. She presented some of what she learned during the council meeting Monday. She said turnover in the 911 center's leadership has been an issue.

"When you have that type of turnover and inconsistency, it makes it very difficult to have set politics, to have training," Murray said. "When someone new comes in, they want to put their stamp on it."

The family released the following statement Monday in response to the city council meeting earlier in the day:

We want to show our support to the City Council which authorized two independent investigations into the tragic death of our remarkable son, Kyle.

Our family still has many unanswered questions. We want to know what went wrong on April 10 when Kyle placed two calls to 9-1-1 and provided the Center all the information needed to allow first responders to locate him and save his life. The system failed Kyle on that day and we will continue to do all we can to make sure that does not happen to other families.

Clearly our current system must be changed but we want to make sure they are the right changes not simply the most expedient.

We support the City of Cincinnati moving forward with Smart911, an enhanced emergency data base that allows all of us to add valuable lifesaving information to our cell phone profiles. Smart 911 is a positive step forward and will add an additional layer of safety for the 911 caller regardless of the system used.

We believe that the information the city is learning through attending the NENA conference and visiting different 911 Centers across the US to learn best practices will lead to meaningful change that will have a positive and lasting impact on the safety of all citizens of Cincinnati.

Last week I attended the National Emergency Number Association Conference. NENA’S mission is to improve 9-1-1 through research, training, education, outreach, and advocacy.

That is now our family’s mission as well---to do everything we can to ensure Cincinnati answers Kyle’s call to become home to the premier 9-1-1 call center in the nation.

Thank you.

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