Calling for Help…Life Threatening VS Non-life Threatening Situations


We sometimes see Fire Trucks and Emergency Vehicles on the Cloister streets. One of our readers asked for an explanation of the difference between Emergency 911 or Non-emergency 862-8600???

Metro Nashville comments on their Emergency Services…

Examples of situations demanding immediate attention include:

  • Reaction from a snakebite or bee sting
  • An allergic reaction of any kind
  • A seizure or convulsion
  • Jerking movements that cannot be controlled
  • Burns covering an area larger than the palm of your hand
  • Electrical burn or shock, including lightning strike
  • Severe injury or being the victim of trauma or an attack
  • Bleeding or spurting blood that you can’t stop
  • Not breathing or having difficulty breathing
  • Gasping for air or turning blue or purple
  • Choking and unable to clear the obstruction
  • Unconsciousness, fainting, not alert, or making funny noises
  • Chest pains, constricting bands, or crushing discomfort around the chest area—even if the pain stops
  • Unusual numbness, tightness, pressure, or aching pain in the chest, neck, jaw, arm, or upper back

What to Expect When You Call 9-1-1

In Metro Nashville, a professionally trained emergency call taker/dispatcher will answer your call to 9-1-1. Although the call taker is well aware of the potential for crisis and any associated anxiety you may be experiencing, you must have the composure to answer several questions about the situation and the patient’s medical status. Some of the questions help to determine the level of medical support sent to the scene—emergency service personnel and the type and number of emergency vehicles—while other questions are meant to assist you until emergency assistance arrives. Be ready to give medical information and describe any person (male, female, age, height, description of clothing) or vehicle (color, type, last direction of travel) involved in the incident.

In cases of serious medical problems, such as cardiac arrest, MNECC call takers are trained to give real-time instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and life-saving first aid. When it looks like a baby may arrive earlier than anticipated, our call takers can assist you over the phone in safely delivering the infant.

All information is taken while a dispatcher simultaneously routes emergency medical service (EMS) professionals to your location. The same applies to giving emergency instructions.  Your job, as the caller, is to answer the questions as accurately  as possible and to pay particular attention to the call taker’s  instructions. Also, since an emergency situation tends to provoke a great deal of anxiety, it’s up to you to remain as calm  as possible. Do not argue. Do not lose your patience. Don’t tell the call taker to hurry. They already know that. Every question the call taker asks is important and designed to assist in the most appropriate and timely response to your emergency. The call taker will stay on the line with you as long as the situation dictates. Do not hang up until the call taker says it is okay to hang up. If the connection is lost, for whatever reason, the call taker will try to call you back.

There are other ways you, the caller, can assist. For example, if possible, you should unlock the front door to allow easy access for emergency responders, and put all pets inside a closed room. You may want to turn on the outdoor lights of the residence or                business to increase visibility. If outside and aiding a victim of an accident, try to find someone who can flag down the emergency vehicle from a safe distance as it approaches.

General 9-1-1 House Rules

  • 9-1-1 should be used for emergencies only, including serious medical problems (chest pains), life threatening situations (person with weapons), fires or crimes in progress.
  • If you are not sure, call 9-1-1.
  • Never be afraid to dial 9-1-1 because of uncertainty.
  • If you THINK you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately and let the dispatch center and other emergency service professionals help you.
  • Be ready to give medical information and describe any person (male, female, age, height, description of clothing) or vehicle (color, type, last direction of travel) involved in the incident.
  • Once help is on its way, make sure the numbers on the outside of the residence where emergency assistance is needed are clearly visible from the roadway day or night.
  • If 9-1-1 is called by mistake, do not hang up; stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that everything is all right. If you don’t, the dispatcher may assume that an emergency has occurred and send a response team to your location.

862-8600 Information

Employees at the Emergency Communications Center are responsible for answering 9-1-1 and non-emergency 862-8600 calls daily.  However, there is a clear focus on answering 9-1-1 calls first.  With this in mind, citizens should be aware that significant wait times can occur on the 8600 line at anytime.

Citizens should not hang up and dial 9-1-1 if you cannot get through on the 862-8600 lines. 9-1-1 should only be used when there is a life-threatening emergency.  If the call is not an emergency situation, the caller will be asked to hang up and call 862-8600.

The 862-8600 lines are available to report a non-emergency situation where police response is requested.  This can include reporting a minor traffic accident with no injuries, when a person discovers their car has been broken into, reporting a suspicious person in a neighborhood, and other non-emergency Police and Fire Department matters.  An easy way to remember when to use 862-8600 is to think “urgency without emergency.”

Citizens seeking general information or a Metro department phone number should contact Metro Customer Service at 3-1-1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Metro Customer Service agents can provide fast answers about Metro agencies, their functions and what number to call for assistance.

See my Blog entry Smart 911 Can Save the Lives of Cloister Residents listed in the HEALTH Category at right

Beginning A New Season at The Cloister Clubhouse Pool……


A great benefit of home ownership at The Cloister is use of the private swimming pool behind the Clubhouse. Depth of the pool ranges from 4 feet at either end to approximately 5 feet in the middle. Rails at both stairways into the pool makes entering and exiting relatively easy. The pool is open 24 hours a day and is lighted at night.

An aquatic exercise group meets several times a week. Barbara Bentley invites all homeowners to join her exercise group on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:00 am.

Each homeowner has been given a key to the Clubhouse door, this same key opens either of the two gates to the fence enclosing the swimming pool. The cylinder locks on the entry gates are old and appear to be somewhat worn like a 10 year old car with 150,000 miles, it still works but barely. Some people have difficulty turning their key in the lock, I am able to open the lock after fiddling with it for a time, some can’t seem to be able to do so, they usually shout for someone in the pool area to open the gate for them.

These are the pool rules from the Homeowner’s Manual.

Cloister Clubhouse Pool Rules

Bonney and I look forward the the pool opening, we use it a lot during the season. Often we hear the children shouting from the outdoor pool at the Gordon Jewish Community Center next door but it’s great to have our own pool. I love children, I fail to delight in a pool full of them. We especially look forward to meeting and chatting with our neighbors as we enjoy each other’s company. I hope we see you there……

Change….Living a Full Life


I am fortunate, invigorated by the spring weather, refreshed by longer days, with an exciting and vital wife. The advent of each Spring energizes my wife Bonney like electricity drives a motor, so for me, longer days allow us to grill and enjoy more time outdoors.

And Bonney is making changes nearly everywhere inside and outside our home.

An Iris outside our Home

Change is Life! Without change still water becomes a stagnant pool. No seasonal changes equals a sand or ice desert. Instead of resisting change I need to embrace it with open arms.

Outside, Bonney has pulled weeds, planted various potted vegitation and herbs, and protected them from two nights of frost. Our home is now surrounded by Iris and Day Lillies, lillies being replanted from gardens in Oxford, Mississippi. Soon we will see many birds and bugs.

Our bedroom wall hangings have been hanging there so many years that they had virtually disappeared. I no longer saw or enjoyed the Japanese silk landscape paintings. A framed poster carrying an inspiring message hung on an adjacent wall, now cloaked in invisibility, by the passage of time.

Over time, almost unnoticed, everything had merged into sameness. Bonney took the old down and put up new, different, and illuminated by the light of the new moment. Today as I enter the doorway of the bedroom, a family portrait, taken decades ago, of Bonney, me, and our teenage sons greets me. The old poster is replaced by a beautiful cross-stitched prayer we recently bought from the estate of George Deroche who lived on Siena Drive. Many of us watched George and Mary Rosa driving down the Cloister streets doing their “Real Estate Thing.”

George's Cross Stitch

George’s daughter sold it to us as she broke up George’s home after his death. The daughter had sewn the prayer for George 30 years ago, Bonney and I now enjoy it.

Every so often all of us need to refresh ourselves and our surroundings.

Changing Gears at The Westminster Presbyterian Church


Westminster Presbyterian Church on West End Avenue

Several years ago Bonney and I attended a number of “Lunch and Learn” type events at the Presbyterian Church on West End Avenue. At that time our Cloister neighbor Mary Field was among the Movers, Shakers, and Doers at Changing Gears. Changing Gears is a gathering of adults 55+ for fellowship, inspiration and food sponsored by the church.

Changing Gears meets every 4th Wednesday at 11:00 am. We lost the habit of attending this program when I had some health problems. But we decided to attend the March program.

March’s program featured five performers including a pianist, violinist, soprano, Guitar/singer, and reader. They presented their program “A Civil War Journey-Music From the Period of the Civil War”. They really lit my wife Bonney up when they played a medley including “Dixie”.

You can listen to a 1916 recording of Dixie. This may be a recording patterned after a minstral show. These shows consisted of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, by 1916, black people in blackface. Many soldiers from both the North and South were still alive in 1916. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these singers weren’t young adults during the War Between the States. Click here…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5mRk5M5qT8&feature=related

The luncheon cost $10 per person and was a buffet style full meal with salad and desert along with beverages including coffee, tea, punch, and water. More importantly, the people involved gave us the friendliest and the best experience we had in a very long time.

We enjoyed the company of neighbors Ken and Sofia Keller and saw Mary Field but did not get a chance to sit at lunch with her. If you would like to visit what we felt was a friendly atmosphere you may want to try Changing Gears.  For more information and reservations call Jill at the Westminster Presbyterian Church Tel. 292-5526 Ext.225.