Cincy officials call for 911 merger after teen’s death

Councilmember Chris Seelbach plans to introduce legislation that would merge the city’s 911 center with the county after a dying teen could not be located

By EMS1 Staff

CINCINNATI — City officials are calling for a merger between the city’s 911 center and the county after responders were unable to locate a teen who had called 911 before dying in a school parking lot.

WCPO reported that councilmember Chris Seelbach plans to introduce legislation that would merge the city’s 911 center with Hamilton County after Kyle Plush, 16, was found dead in his minivan.

"It's past time to solve this once and for all," Seelbach said in a written statement. "Lives are at stake, and we can't let the ego of anyone or any organization prevent this from happening."

Plush had called 911 twice hours before his death, but police said that responders could not locate him because a dispatcher did not give information about what kind of vehicle he was in.

"This tragedy may ultimately suggest the problems have not been resolved or that not enough changes have been made," Mayor John Cranley said. "We owe the Plush family and the public a detailed and comprehensive explanation of everything that has been done, recommendations made and actions taken at the 911 center that could have had any bearing on the practices that may have contributed to this tragedy."

Councilmember Greg Landsman agreed and voiced his support for better 911 communications.

"It's absolutely heartbreaking, and this can't ever happen again, to anyone ever," he said. "Beyond a full investigation, everything has to be on the table, including partnering with the county."

County commissioner Denise Driehaus said she’s “always open to a conversation about shared services and efficiencies, especially lifesaving efficiencies.”


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