911 Operator Falls Asleep During Call

MMiz

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911 Operator Falls Asleep During Call

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A call to 911 is usually a relief that help is on the way -- but not in this case.

An Anne Arundel County 911 operator is under investigation for apparently falling asleep last week during an emergency.

[...]

On July 29, at around 2:40 a.m., Patricia Berg found herself startled awake -- she thought someone was breaking into her home. But as she described the emergency, the 911 operator fell asleep to the point of snoring, WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team reporter David Collins reported.

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ma2va92

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SICK that is the first thing that comes to mind.. if this person has no medical reason for having this happen.. then your outa here.. with what ever fines that can be imposed..... no reason no excuse no bs .. that sehe can come up with would clear her in my mind....even if she was on a med for a ill ness.. they you don't come into a job like that ... while med's are onboard...

I hope the person that made the call is alright... and if i was that person.. I would have someone hanging by the short hairs real fast
 
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MMiz

MMiz

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The call wasn't of the most emergent nature, but that's no excuse. Working the midnight shift, I always wondered how dispatch stayed awake. When we get on at 7:30 PM dispatch welcomes us with "Good morning," and when we get off at 7:30 am, they tell us to have a good night. Everyone I know that works the midnight shift sees it as a lifestyle, and they're pretty used to it.

The article said that the dispatcher usually worked nights, and has been doing this for some time. I'd like to find a good excuse as to why they fell asleep and were snoring.

Our company uses professional dispatchers in another county. At night, one dispatcher can dispatch for two or three smaller companies, so I dont think they'd be falling asleep.

That's just a weird article, it sure doesn't make dispatchers seem professional, though I've mostly had positive experiences.
 

SafetyPro2

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I can understand falling asleep if its a quiet night with few calls, but how do you fall asleep DURING a call?

Night shift work is definitely a different world. I used to work for a newspaper. Even though I was primarily a day-shift person, I'd have to go in at night fairly often, as the busiest time is from about 11 PM until 4 AM. Usually, I'd end up putting in a short day in the office, go home for awhile, then come back at 9-10 PM and stay until midnight or later. Was always very interesting to hear the guys say they were going to lunch at 11 PM.
 

ffemt8978

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I've dispatched on the night shift for two years, and NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED falling asleep during a call. On the slow nights, the jailer would come into the dispatch center and we would take turns sleeping (rare occassions, cat naps lasting no more that 15 minutes), but we never missed any type of call. (Note: on these occassions, the deputy was usually sleeping in his office, too).
 

rescuecpt

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Not that it's excuseable in this case, but you've never had someone tell you "don't you remember me telling you this, you looked like you were awake"... happens all the time at my house - my mom or dad is asleep on the couch when I get home, they seem to wake up, I chat with them a while, go to bed, and later they come to look for me because they never heard me come home.

What I don't get is that the woman, who thought there might be an intruder in the house, stayed on the line for 1 min 48 sec! I would have hung up and called back... either I would have gotten a different operator or woken up the sleeping one with the ringing phone!
 

medicfire909

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Hello Everyone,

Yeah I had read this story it was kinda bizzare for a Dispatcher to fall asleep during a call. Even if there were medical reasons involved I find it highly unlike he was the only dispatcher on and a co-worker should have taken over the call or taken over before the call if proper signs were there.

ALL EMS people from First Responders to Paramedics, Police Officers of all levels and Dispatchers work a job thats different from that in any other field. This not to make an excuse for this but maybe more communities will consider the resources they have more closely. Not many jobs in these fields are full time with the benefits of the private sector which requires many EMS folks to work multiple jobs to support themselves and their families. In my community we have a EMS agency that dispatches for themselves and the county dispatches everyone else but this one agency. This has been a MAJOR source of headaches for my volunteer ambulance squad which is the MA company, and I ride for a ALS FD non-transport Agency within their district. This private agency thinks they are above the other agencies and they have lost their state certification on all three of their ambulances because they carry ALS supplies on board and they don't beleive in hirring ALS providers their answer to that was our district is serviced by a ALS FD why do we have to be ALS also.

So we run almost 15,000 EMS calls with this agency every year almost every time we roll we've lost one of our members who has to ride along with the ambulance company. The FD is all volunteer and many of our members ride for ambulance companies (non for this particular squad), we all have careers we've persued and many of us have familes and some attend college as well. Not to mention everyone of us hold atleast EMT certifications, and actively persue additional training courses. (My particular favorite was the year Chevy gave us two brand new pickup trucks to demolish for extrication training on the system where the trucks have a back door the has to fold before the front seat door is shut. A hugh problem for FDs because our tools are too small and not long enough for the increased distance between the posts.) we attend drills twice a week just for the FD and then whats required for our other pursuits. Most of our Paramedics me included work for the Local Trauma center on the air ambulance run out of the Trauma Center which is a different type of calls almost everything if not everything is critical and constantly so. We have locals in these services including dispatchers who are various National Guards units, are members of Search & Rescue Teams and other special teams such as HAZMAT, FEMA and more.


All this said yes we need sleep some times chossing the right time is the hard part, any wonder why we sleep through those building alarms once and awhile. I am horrible can sleep 2 feet from the rig and the siren can be blarrring and I am completely out. BUT EMS,FD, & Police units have a MA backup systems some dispatchers might not given the situation. In this county if you don't acknowledge a call within 5 minutes such as Acknowleded awaiting crew etc the call is turned over to the next agency and after which is your not in route after 10 minutes the call is turned over as well. If the second agency doesn't respond withing 5 minutes the call is automatically starburst dispatched to the 5 nearest agencies and branches out from there. Obviously this is seldom.

Where was his backup on this call? Where were the Supervisors and etc questions come to mind.

Good Night


Julie
 
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