911 call went unanswered for almost 5 minutes, Milwaukee man says

The caller said a recording played over the phone as he tried to help a neighbor having a stroke


By EMS1 Staff

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man says no one picked up for nearly five minutes after he called 911 for a neighbor who had a stroke.

Joseph Walker told CBS 58 an automated recording played every 10 seconds saying not to hang up and that his call would be answered “in the order it was received.”

Others trying to reach 911 also got no response, and Walker said he eventually drove to the fire station for help.

“I had the hazard sign on, I was beeping the horn, making people aware so I don’t hit anybody,” Walker said. “I even had to jump a curb.”

The call wasn’t picked up until after he returned from the station.

“We need them to show up in an emergency,” he said. “If it’s my kid in the street I can’t depend on 911.”

The Milwaukee Police Department issued a statement saying, “Incidents like these concern us, therefore we will determine what occurred.”

The neighbor survived and is recovering, according to Walker.

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