Repeated attempts by the Palo Alto Weekly to get answers from the city of Palo Alto about why first responders mishandled a June 3 911 call and how the city has changed policy and training in the wake of that incident have been repeatedly rebuffed by city leaders, chiefly City Manager Ed Shikada.
Here are some of the still-unanswered questions:
1. On what basis did the police dispatcher, within a few seconds of the initial 911 call, radio to police units that the call appeared to be "more like a 5150 call than a medical call?"
2. The city's "staging" policy for keeping firefighters and paramedics away from an incident until police have deemed it safe is very specific to violent incidents, such as shootings. How was staging under the circumstances of this incident in compliance with that policy?
3. What training on the staging of medical calls did dispatchers receive prior to and after this incident?
4. Why weren't the police dispatched on an emergency basis, since the fire department was dispatched under an emergency medical protocol?
5. The city's protocol for possible strokes requires an immediate and undelayed response. Stroke symptoms include speech difficulties, a decreased level of consciousness, confusion and loss of balance and coordination. The Palo Alto woman had these symptoms. Why did officers — and the EMT who was also present before the police allowed paramedics — appear to ignore these symptoms?
6. Why did Officer Yolanda Franco-Clausen stop three blocks from the scene — and what was she doing during those five minutes?
7. Why did police persist in trying to question the resident for five minutes instead of immediately pulling in the paramedics when the officers found there was no threat to firefighters?
8. Police asked the patient's husband for and were given permission to check "inside the front door" of the residence. Under what authority and for what purpose did police Officer Clausen search other rooms and look inside the woman's purse?
9. What happened to Sergeant Adrienne Moore's body-worn-camera footage and patrol-car recording footage of this incident? The city attorney's office first said there was footage but that something had happened to it and it was no longer available. Now City Attorney Molly Stump says it does not exist and won't say whether it was erased or never recorded in the first place.
10. Officer Clausen's wife disclosed information about the incident to at least one acquaintance and asserted that the patient had lied about her condition. What policies govern the sharing of information about an incident with others, including a spouse, and what are the consequences?
11. How often has the department been requested to stage a medical emergency response in the past year in cases where there was no indication of violence or criminal behavior?
12. Why has the city not apologized to the patient and explained the actions it is taking to prevent a recurrence of what happened in this incident?
This is part of a larger story on the mishandling of a June 3 911 call that can be found here.