Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Woman Dies after Arkansas 911 Operator Error

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas 911 operator did not enter a call into a computer system that would have notified police and fire dispatchers of a mother and son trapped inside a vehicle in a pond, authorities said Wednesday. The woman died hours later, and her 5-year-old son was in critical condition Wednesday, police said.

The Little Rock operator who handled the call from 39-year-old Jinglei Yi has been placed on paid administrative leave while authorities try to figure out what happened. The operator has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Yi called 911 about 8 a.m. Monday after her vehicle hit a patch of ice, went over a curb and ended up in the pond, Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Cassandra Davis said. A county dispatcher transferred the call to the 911 operator, who spoke with Yi briefly before hanging up and contacting an ambulance service.

An ambulance was dispatched a few minutes later to the west Little Rock pond, but police officers and firefighters weren't dispatched until about a half-hour later — after the ambulance service called to verify that they were en route.

It's still not clear whether the delay played any role in Yi's death. A doctor pronounced her dead at a local hospital at 11:45 a.m. Monday. A medical examiner is expected to determine the exact cause.

Laura Martin, who directs the city police and fire departments' communications branch, said the operator did not enter Yi's call into a computerized dispatching system that would have alerted police and fire dispatchers. The operator also ended Yi's call instead of using a transfer option that would have allowed her to keep Yi on the line while contacting the ambulance service, she said.

"Proper protocol would be ... we have a one-button transfer switch where you get (the ambulance service) on the line and you remain on the line with them until you're sure that they have handled the call," Martin said.

On the 911 call, which The Associated Press obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, a county dispatcher describes Yi's situation to the operator in Little Rock while Yi remains on the line.

Then, Yi describes her location and says there is water in her vehicle.

"The water is in my car right now," she said.

The Little Rock operator asked Yi for her name and asked her to hang on.

"OK, ma'am, we're going to get some help on the way for you, OK?" the operator said.

"OK. Thank you," Yi said. Then the call appears to end.

Neither Davis nor Martin would identify the operator, who was hired in March and completed a six-month probation period in September.

___

Follow Jeannie Nuss at http://twitter.com/jeannienuss

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



RELATED ARTICLES

1,800 EMS Workers Ratify 3-Year Contract with AMR

Emergency medical service (EMS) professionals working in 13 counties across California have voted to ratify a new 3-year agreement with the ambulance company...

FDM Records Management System Key to Minnesota’s First Integrated Public Safety System

Firefighters heading to a blaze in Anoka County, Minnesota will soon know if they will be walking into a drug house, thanks to a new Public Safety Data Syste...

British Columbia Paramedics Launch Major Public Awareness Campaign

VANCOUVER – British Columbia’s 4,000 Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers are launching a major province-wide public awareness campaign...

South Carolina County EMS Tries to Ease Workload of 24-Hour Shifts

Charleston County EMS schedule switch brings some praise and some grumbling Other agencies such as Berkeley, Dorchester struggle with fatigue, weigh possible...

MONOC is Awarded 911 EMS Contract for City of Orange

Wall, NJ – MONOC is proud to announce that it has just been awarded a one year contract to provide 911 EMS services to the City of Orange.  The co...

MONOC Medics First in New Jersey to Carry TXA

Wall, NJ – MONOC Paramedics are the first in New Jersey to carry a medication called Tranexamic Acid (TXA) on their Mobile Intensive Care Units to give...

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers