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  1. #1

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    Angry Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Woman dies after son calls 911; dispatchers think it's a prank

    (Detroit, April 6, 2006, 11:00 P.M.) An investigation is underway in Detroit after a six-year-old boy called 911 to get help for his mom, and the operator acted as if it were a joke.
    Detroit NBC Affiliate WDIV reports that six-year-old Robert Turner called 911 on February 20. He thought his mother 46-year-old Sherrill Turner had passed out. She was later found dead.
    911 tapes detail the call, where the boy tells a female operator that his mom had passed out. The operator demands to speak to an adult before sending police.
    The boy eventually hung up and called back a short time later. This time the same operator warns the boy that he could get in trouble for making a prank call to 911. Taylor says police didn't arrive until three hours later and found his mother dead.
    The family is now pursuing a lawsuit. Detroit police are investigating and say they are not sure about what, if any, disciplinary will be taken against the 911 operator.


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    IF ANY?????????????? It can't possibly be this woman's job to determine if a call is a joke- the kid SAID his mom was passed out.

    This makes me angry and sick-this kids mom might be alive if this dispatcher had bothered to drop her attitude and send help.




  2. #2

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    If a 9-year-old says his mother is passed out.... shouldn't she have thought that THERE WERE NO OTHER ADULTS present? If he's alone with his mother, she passes out, how is she going to be put on the phone?!

    People are stupid...

    911 operators need to send people out unless they're for sure it's a prank. A 9 year old would probably be giggling about the whole thing while on the phone if it were a prank. Doesn't sound like he was.
    -Tim

  3. #3

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Wow. What a sad story. I feel so bad for that little kid, but I'm very proud of him for trying to do the right thing. This dispatcher on the other hand....it sounds like the city of Detroit is in a world of trouble. Maybe protocol changes from state to state, but I've heard SEVERAL 911 calls where the dispatcher talks the kid through some basic questions while getting the police on the way.

    AND....in MY city, cops came to MY house, and we didn't even call for them. They simply got some kind of signal that we had ATTEMPTED a 911 call and sent an officer over. AND....after they got here, he wouldn't leave until he came inside to make sure everything was ok...wanted to be sure I wasn't holding them at gunpoint, etc.

    So....if this was standard protocol, I see some lawsuits in the works. If not, this lady should not let the door hit her in the butt on the way out.

  4. #4

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Quote Originally Posted by localdisnyfan
    it sounds like the city of Detroit is in a world of trouble.
    Ever been to Detroit? A minute in that city and you'll see that it's been in a world of trouble for a LOOOOOOOOONG time. After all, it's the city of Eminem, Kid Rock, and ICP.

    One time, we were driving through and got a baseball bat thrown at our vehicle for no apparent reason.
    -Tim

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Man... that's just tragic. The poor kid did the right thing by calling 911; and someone in his family must have taught him at one point to do so in the case of an emergency. How awful that the operator thought it was a joke.

    The following is a parody article from The Onion:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/46937

    "Detroit Sold for Scrap"

  6. #6

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Wow.....how awful. I don't know how that 911 dispatcher is going to live with herself...I know I couldn't.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Are they allowed to make that distinction??? They shouldn't be.


  8. #8

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    Sad Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    I am very sorry. I know many kids make prank calls to 911, but no one should assume that just because a kid called 911 that it is a prank. This woman should be fired, or at least her superior that instructed her to make such an assumption.

    I heard about this tory on the Neal Boortz show this morning. My heart goes out to the kid. He was trying to do the right thing, and now his mom is dead. What a tragedy.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Oh my gosh! How totally sad for that family. At least the little boy will always know he did the right thing. I would guess that after the lawsuit is settled, he will have a daddy that can stay at home, not have to go to work, and can help him through this. I have to admit, while on one level I can't believe the 911 operator had that attitude, on another level I have to feel incredibly sorry for her. It is a hugely stressful job, most people don't do it "just for the money", lots of less stressful jobs with the same pay. Maybe she had a rotten day--her husband left her, her kid got caught at school with drugs, her dad just had open heart surgery,she'd been getting a lot of crank calls, the list is endless. Does that excuse it? No. But, having made stupid mistakes in my life, I know that even with the best of intentions crap happens. It's possible she is a wonderful person, and feels aweful about this. I'm sure she will lose her job, and really, what a life altering experience. This would definitely be one that would make a person contemplate suicide I would think.....

  10. #10

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Of course, the mom could already have been dead when the kid called... they'd have to prove that the operator's failure to call out emergency crews caused the death.

    Apparently the best way to get 911 to your home is to call and hang up?

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  11. #11

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrigoon
    Of course, the mom could already have been dead when the kid called... they'd have to prove that the operator's failure to call out emergency crews caused the death.
    I don't think that matters.... whether or not she was dead at the time isn't as consequential as what her actions were. There was a 9-year-old boy calling 911, VERY worried about his mother. The operator called him a liar and did nothing. If she was dead, the only thing that does is make her feel better that she didn't cause her death.
    -Tim

  12. #12

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Quote Originally Posted by FrumiousBoojum
    I don't think that matters.... whether or not she was dead at the time isn't as consequential as what her actions were. There was a 9-year-old boy calling 911, VERY worried about his mother. The operator called him a liar and did nothing. If she was dead, the only thing that does is make her feel better that she didn't cause her death.
    I agree. A lot of cities have citizen volunteer patrols. I don't know if detroit has one but she could have sent one of those patrols if she felt that kid was joking. Even if she just got 100 crank calls from kids that night, it doesn't mean the kid call #101 is lying.

    It's horrible when you can't get someone on 911 (has happened to me). I can't imagine what that poor kid was thinking when the dispatcher called him a liar.

  13. #13

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Well, common sense dictates that the dispatcher should be fired (and hog-tied...), but REALITY is that there are other circumstances/angles that will need to be examined before any disciplinary action will be taken.

    Believe me, I feel that she should have been fired that day without question for what she did, and personally sued for punitive damages by the family members, but unfortunately I've seen too many of these cases where "loopholes" come up and nothing happens...

  14. #14

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    I heard about this on the radio this morning and it just broke my heart. Just thinking about that little kid there alone with his dying mother? My god. I'm getting weepy over it still.

    That operator's *** should be in a sling, and hopefully the city will pay for that child's therapy bills for the rest of his life. God knows he's going to need it.

    Disgusting, just disgusting.

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  15. #15

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    Re: Dispatcher thinks 911 call is joke- woman is found dead!

    Quote Originally Posted by FrumiousBoojum
    Ever been to Detroit? A minute in that city and you'll see that it's been in a world of trouble for a LOOOOOOOOONG time. After all, it's the city of Eminem, Kid Rock, and ICP.

    One time, we were driving through and got a baseball bat thrown at our vehicle for no apparent reason.
    I hope you're being sarcastic. There's more to Detroit than that crap you mentioned like "Eminem, Kid Rock, and ICP". I've been to downtown Detroit countless times, and never encountered any trouble. I mean there are some odd hobos, but nothing dangerous. Maybe it was an unlucky day?

    Anyways, the local news always has special reports on how the City of Detroit is "working hard" to improve the EMS. This story doesn't suprise me at all.

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