Dispatcher hangs up on caller who found mother dead

The dispatcher at first tried to calm the man down, but when he swore at her she hung up the phone


LAS VEGAS — A fire dispatcher is still on the job after violating department policy by hanging up on a frantic caller.

8NewsNow reported that an investigation is underway for failures by the dispatcher and the department.

A hysterical man called 911 after finding his mother lying on the floor dead. The call was first fielded by a police dispatcher who handled it according to procedure. The call was then transferred to a medical dispatcher.

The conversation between the man and the dispatcher is as follows:

"He says his mom passed away, I don't have an address yet." The operator told the fire dispatcher.

"Please, she's purple!" caller said.

"Ma'am, ma'am," the fire dispatcher said.

"I'm a guy!" the caller responded.

The fire dispatcher tries to get the information, but the call takes a shocking turn.

Operator: "Ok, you need to stop. You need to calm down."

Caller: "My mom's purple!”

Operator: "I need a building number."

Caller: "Please!"

Operator: "Is she breathing at all?"

Caller: "No! She's purple!"

Operator: "Ok, you don't have to holler at me, I didn't do it."

Caller: "F — you bitch!"

Operator: "Bye!"

The dispatcher disconnects the line and hangs up on the frantic man — a critical violation of department policy.

The original dispatcher remained on the line.

"Ok, listen, we have medical and officers responding. Was she sick? What happened to her?" the dispatcher asked.

"We took what you gave us very seriously because it is not OK. It is not consistent with the level of service that we can to provide," Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Chief Willie McDonald told the TV station. "I guess I couldn't say this will never happen again, but we clearly have taken the steps in this case to make sure the employee is really clear on what should have happened, and there might be some retraining that might be necessary.”

The chief says corrective action was taken as a result of this investigation.

"We don't tolerate behaviors that aren't consistent with our guidelines for our protocols and our policies for our folks," Chief McDonald said.

The department is moving forward with plans for a new quality assurance position for 911 calls, according to the report.

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  2. 911
  3. Dispatcher
  4. Fire-EMS
  5. Investigation

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