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Ring camera footage shows S.C. man’s struggle to reach 911 dispatcher

A Horry County man called 911 three times before getting an answer while his wife was having a seizure

By Bill Carey

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. — Ring camera footage shows a Horry County resident struggling to reach 911 as his wife was having a seizure.

Douglas Lhamon revealed it took three attempts to contact a dispatcher after his wife, Marissa, suddenly collapsed and began seizing on their front porch earlier this month, WBTW reported.

He also noted a 10-minute delay in emergency response.

“I jumped up out of the chair and made sure she wasn’t going to hurt herself, and she was foaming at the mouth,” Douglas said. “She was nonfunctional, and her face just turned white. Her lips were white and she stopped breathing.”

Douglas said the first call sounded like a fax machine.

“Then the second time I call I get ‘the next operator will be with you.’ That’s unacceptable,” he said. “So, I hung up and called back a third time and someone finally answered, and in the background, you can hear some guy say, ‘We have sent somebody out there three times to this address.’”

WBTW reports that Horry County police confirmed using an automated system when dispatchers are unavailable. HCPD assured that they are aware of incoming calls and respond to them as they are received.

“I understand they might be understaffed, but there are enough people out there that have medical advice and could get someone else to set phones,” Douglas said. “If you go to lunch, get someone else to get your phone. 911 is a lifesaver— but if you’re not there, whose life are you saving?”

Horry County police stated that response times vary due to factors such as crew availability; if a team is busy, the nearest available unit is dispatched.