Pennsylvania Dispatcher’s Mistake Ends with Baby’s Death

Call taker typed the wrong address, sending paramedics three miles from where the baby was.


 
 

ADAM BRANDOLPH, Pittsburgh Tribune Review | | Friday, June 18, 2010


An Allegheny County 911 call-taker directed paramedics, firefighters and police to the wrong address when someone reported an unresponsive baby in Crafton Heights, delaying treatment by six minutes for the 3-week-old girl who died an hour later.

Bob Full, chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services, said Tuesday the call-taker typed the wrong address into a computer, routing responders to a location about three miles from the apartment where 21-day-old Jordyn Anderson needed help.

When emergency crews arrived at the incorrect address on Crane Avenue at 6:20 a.m. Friday in Banksville, they radioed back to a dispatcher and received the correct information, Full said.

When paramedics arrived at the correct scene on Crucible Street -- 14 minutes after the initial call -- firefighters were performing CPR on Anderson, who died at 7:13 a.m. at Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville.

"This is a sad and tragic situation," Full said. "We answer about 5,000 calls a day. This one here is one we wish we didn't get wrong."

County Medical Examiner Karl Williams said there is no evidence that the six minutes might have made a difference in saving Jordyn's life. An autopsy is pending, Williams said.

A woman who answered the door at the Crucible Street home declined to comment.

The call-taker, whom Full would not identify, was placed on paid leave pending the results of an internal investigation, which so far has involved listening to 911 tapes.

"It is very unfortunate that our units were sent to the wrong location," city Public Safety Director Michael Huss said.

City Councilwoman Theresa Smith, whose district includes Crafton Heights, said she plans to meet public safety officials to address concerns that the 911 call center is not operating up to snuff.

"We (as city officials) have a responsibility to the residents," Smith said.

A part-time 911 call-taker in April 2009 failed to warn city police officers sent to a domestic dispute about weapons in the home of Richard Poplawski, who is accused of killing three officers at his Stanton Heights. An investigation this year placed some blame for a Hazelwood man's death on city EMS workers who staffed the 911 center during February's snowstorms and mishandled some calls his girlfriend made.

Full said he takes responsibility for Friday's incident, saying the delay in response "has been clearly identified here within the 911 center operations."

Pittsburgh police separately are investigating Jordyn's death. Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said investigators do not consider his death suspicious.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, dispatchers

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

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ebola Changes How North Carolina EMS Responds to Calls

Concern about virus spread leads to new protocols.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Oklahoma Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Cases

Training and preparation are keys for metro hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
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

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >