CBS News – A dispatch operator has been reassigned after a shocking response to a fatal hit-and-run in Anne Arundel County, CBS station WJZ-TV in Baltimore reports.
After a teenage girl witnessed her father and his fiancee being hit by a car, she made a panicked call for help–but didn’t get the response she was expecting.
“Yes, I think so. Can you all hurry up, please?” the daughter said.
“Ma’am, listen, let’s stop worrying about hurrying up and get there. We are already on our way,” the dispatcher said.
The caller is a young girl who just saw a horrific accident. Her father, 38-year-old Rick Warrick, and his fiancee were thrown to the side of the Baltimore Washington Parkway by a car that just kept going. Warrick died from the collision; his fiancee suffered non-life threatening injuries.
“Most people that listen to that tape, and myself included, would not be how I would want to be treated if I called 911 or if I had a family member or friend calling a 911 dispatcher,” said Anne Arundel County Fire Department Captain Russ Davies.
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department is just as shocked to hear how the operator treated the caller.
Caller: “They just laying here. Nothing. They just laying here.”
Dispatcher: “Is there someone else there I can talk to because it’s so hard.”
Caller: “It’s only my little brother. Only my little brother.”
The dispatch center sends out more than 200 responses a day. They say that one call on Sunday is a poor reflection of how they truly operate.
“It was not handled in a professional manner, certainly didn’t meet our expectations,” Davies said.
Warrick was changing the tire on his maroon Hyundai and his fiancee was holding the flashlight when the two were hit. Warrick’s two children were in the car.
Dispatcher: “So two people were struck.”
Caller: “Yes, they both just laying there.”
Dispatcher: “Okay, let’s stop whining, okay, let’s stop whining. It’s hard to understand you.”
The department is assuring the public this is not a normal response.
“We know that when you call 911, that’s the entry way into our service and you need to be treated professionally and it needs to be an efficient process,” Davies said.
The dispatcher has been with the department for six years. During this investigation, he will not be taking any 911 calls and has been moved to another position where he will not have contact with the public.
The fire department says this call dd not disrupt the response time and help was sent out immediately.