Md. dispatcher snores through emergency call

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – As a panicked woman’s husband turned blue last month, a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue dispatcher snored, fast asleep.

In an April 4 emergency call recording obtained by NBC4, the woman called for help as her husband had trouble breathing.

After the initial 911 call taker transferred the worried woman to the county fire and rescue dispatcher, she was left saying “Hello?…Hello?….Hello?” with nobody answering.

The sleeping firefighter was reportedly 17 hours into a 24-hour overtime shift at the time of the incident.

The original call taker noticed nobody picked up the call and asked, “Fire and rescue, are you there?”

The sound that came through: snoring.

Listen to the call below:

Another dispatcher got on on the line with the woman, trying to help her maintain an open airway for her husband. The dispatcher’s snoring confused the calltaker, who thought the sounds were emanating from the woman’s husband.

About six minutes into the call, the sleeping dispatcher woke up, asking the woman, “What’s the address?”

Montgomery County Assistant Fire Chief Scott Graham tells NBC4 the snoring dispatcher “was immediately removed from the floor by his supervisor that night and placed on administrative leave with pay pending the inquiry.”

Graham says the patient was transported to the hospital and didn’t suffer any “adverse affects as a result of the call.”

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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