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Call From Pollsters May Have Saved Woman's Life Call From Pollsters May Have Saved Woman's Life

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Call From Pollsters May Have Saved Woman's Life

The political news media are saturated with results of public opinion polling, but many Americans often wonder just who is completing these surveys. WNBC-TV in New York introduces us to one such respondent, a 79-year-old Manhattan woman who says a phone call from pollsters may have saved her life.

Bobby Berlin says she was sleeping in her West Side apartment on Monday evening when a computer from the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., randomly dialed her telephone number. But when the student manning the computer-assisted telephone interviewing terminal spoke with her, attempting to ask her questions about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Berlin appeared to be in distress. WNBC's Melissa Russo:

When Berlin answered her phone, the Marist student on the other end of the call, Jason, sensed something wasn't right. "Something just sounded off," Jason recalled. "It was just really heavy breathing and panting."

He called in his supervisor Daniela Carter, whose voice is heard on the phone recording.

"Hi, are you OK?" Carter asked.

"No," Berlin responded.


Carter dialed 911, and emergency officials in Dutchess County dialed the FDNY, which located Berlin. "The man from the ambulette said I would have died during the night," Berlin said later.

Berlin's only regret, she told WNBC, is that she did not get to answer the pollsters' questions about Bloomberg. Asked if she had opinions about Hizzoner, Berlin told the TV station, "I certainly do, and they are all negative."

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