911 Operator: Co-workers Bullied Me - @ JEMS.com

911 Operator: Co-workers Bullied Me


D.L. Bennett | | Friday, September 12, 2008

ATLANTA -- A Fulton County 911 operator who was fired because she delayed a call for a woman who later died testified Thursday she was bullied and picked on by co-workers and often forced to work double shifts.

Gina Conteh, 43, made the statements before the Fulton Personnel Board during a four-hour hearing Thursday. Conteh, a nearly 12-year veteran, was before the board appealing a 10-day suspension ordered for an April 23, 2007, verbal conflict between Conteh and a co-worker.

No decision was made Thursday. Conteh's firing is also under appeal and expected to be heard soon.

She testified Thursday that other co-workers may be jealous because they think she has an easy assignment inside the 911 center and takes frequent breaks.

"People will see how far they can go with me because I have taken a lot," she said.

Conteh said co-worker Stacey Loucas often treated her poorly and tried to embarrass her in front of co-workers. She said the fight last April was touched off by a incident three days earlier where Conteh felt Loucas had called her out before colleagues over taking too many breaks.

"Everyone knows I'm a diabetic," Conteh said.

She also said workers tend to be stressed because they often are forced to work double shifts to cover for unfilled positions. Fulton County reports the center has 49 operators and 30 vacant positions.

Conteh jumped into the public spotlight in August when she misdirected to Atlanta emergency help which should have gone to Darlene Dukes in Johns Creek. An ambulance didn't arrive for an hour after her first call. Dukes died from a blood clot in her lung.

Conteh was fired over the incident, and 911 Center Director Alfred "Rocky" Moore was reassigned. The county also has hired a consulting company to review the 911 center. That report is due next month.

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Related Topics: Communications and Dispatch, Legal and Ethical, Training

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