Colo. 911 call was misrouted, causing delay of one minute


 
 

Hector GutierrezRocky Mountain News | | Thursday, June 21, 2007


AURORA, Colo. An Aurora emergency operator erroneously transferred a frantic call to the Denver 911 system to report the drownings of two siblings before realizing the address of the tragedy was in her city.

The call-taker caught her mistake within a minute and summoned Aurora firefighters to the apartment building where the sister and brother were found in the pool, Michael Bedwell, the city's manager of public safety communications, said Thursday.

It's hard to know whether the extra minute would have made a difference because investigators don't know how long the children were in the pool.

Aurora fire Capt. Michael Ackman said paramedics and firefighters responded to the scene in about six minutes.

The operator should have typed the apartment's address, 9901 E. Evans Ave., into the city's computer system, which would have indicated the jurisdiction as Aurora, Bedwell said. The information then would have been transferred to an emergency dispatcher.

Instead, the operator asked the caller if the address was in Denver, and he confirmed it was. Residents who live at the complex have Denver mailing addresses.

At that point the operator transferred the emotional caller to Denver's 911 system, according to the 911 tape.

The Aurora call-taker then asked the Denver operator if the address was in Denver, according to the tape. The Denver operator told her the address was showing up in Arapahoe County, which encompasses Aurora.

At that point the caller desperately pleaded to both operators: "Can somebody just get here?"

Bedwell said the Aurora operator soon realized the address was in her city.

"Of course it's an honest mistake, and of course, she feels terrible about it," Bedwell said. "However, it's our commitment to the citizens, and we do have procedures to limit mistakes as much as possible."

He said disciplinary action could be taken but declined to discuss it further, saying it was an internal matter.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Administration and Leadership, Communications and Dispatch, Industry News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >