A female 9-1-1 dispatcher in southwest Iowa has been fired after failing to answer emergency calls earlier this month. Tom Ling, director of Mills County Communications, says calls were left unanswered beginning at 4:15 A.M. on October 6th. Ling says law enforcement became aware of the situation after someone who couldn’t reach 9-1-1 in Mills County and decided to call the Pottawattamie County Communications Center, where a dispatcher also tried to reach Mills County.
The Mills County Sheriff’s Office finally reached the dispatcher, she paged the Glenwood Fire and Rescue squad, who responded to a woman who was suffering from chest pain. The woman ended-up being taken to Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs. Specific information about why the dispatcher did not answer calls for 30 minutes has not been released, but Ling said the incident which resulted the woman’s termination was investigated, and the county is in the process of hiring a replacement dispatcher.
The Mills County Communications Center usually has a staff of seven, but the resignation of another dispatcher has reduced that number to five. Ling says he intends to fill the two open dispatcher positions, by mid-November.
Contributed by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic