Longform

MISCUE 911

Page 5 of 5

But the saga of 911 and American Express was not yet concluded. Several weeks ago, sources at American Express told New Times that the two-way emergency-response system--911 and 1414--was in effect at WROC II, but not at nearby WROC I.

Those sources said if someone dialed 911 from WROC I, he or she will get a recorded message: "This is a nonworking number at American Express."

But soon after the company got wind that New Times was preparing a story on the Sarah Dugan episode, it issued a memo detailing emergency procedures at the two WROC buildings and at a third Phoenix location.

The memo, dated July 13, assures employees that "workplace safety and security is a high priority at American Express." It notes employees should dial 1414 in case of emergency, but adds, "in addition, employees can access 911 by dialing 9-911."

@rule:
@body:At the end of each of his days, Joe Dugan says he quietly talks with his God: "I ask Him, 'How did I do today? Was I patient enough with Sarah?' If He had wanted to take Sarah on November 2, 1990, He would have. But she's still here with us."

He spends almost every minute with his wife, and he says he will tend to her until one of them dies.

"I love her and it's my responsibility to her," Joe Dugan says. "That's a word American Express should learn--responsibility."
Sarah hollers something from the bedroom. Her husband walks to her side to see what she needs. She moans something unintelligible to him.

"I love you, honey," Joe Dugan responds.
"I know you do," Sarah Dugan replies, in a rare moment of painful lucidity. She bursts into tears and shuts her eyes.

"You are a wonderful woman, Sarah Dugan," her husband of 35 years says, as he strokes her hand gently. "God will look out for us.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin