LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) – A 911 dispatcher is still employed after hanging up on a caller who found his mother dead, according to KLAS-TV.
KLAS obtained a copy of the phone call from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, which started out according to procedure but the operator could not handle the distress caller.
The caller kept begging for help, saying his mom has turned purple.
The operator asked for a building number to know where to send help. “Please!” the caller responded. “Is she breathing at all?” the operator asked. “No! She’s purple!” the caller asserted. “Ok, you don’t have to holler at me, I didn’t do it,” the operator responded. The caller did not appreciate that remark and then cursed at the operator: “F-word you bitch!” The operator said “bye!” and hung up on the caller.
This call was brought to the attention of Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Chief Willie McDonald, who said an internal investigation will take place.
The operator was identified. “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,” McDonald told KLAS.
Correction action was taken after the investigation. “We don’t tolerate behaviors that aren’t consistent with our guidelines for our protocols and our policies for our folks,” McDonald added to KLAS.
The department will implement a new quality assurance policy so calls like this do not happen again.
During the investigation it was found that the dispatcher did have other incidents but nothing was determined as serious.
McDonald pointed out to KLAS that his department handles over 600,000 calls in a year with the majority of them being handled without any incidents.