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What Caused a 911 Dispatcher to Break Down Laughing During a Very Serious Emergency Call?


"You're calling for help, you shouldn't be laughed at"

A 911 dispatcher is still on the job after laughing during an emergency call regarding a woman who caught on fire, KGUN-TV reports.

The dispatcher, who reportedly has no prior incidents on her record, took a 911 call from Lalo Delgado whose car — and girlfriend — caught on fire during an accident on a rural road outside of Tucson, Ariz., the New York Post says.

(Credit: KGUN)

"Her initial reaction was laugh and giggle in the background," Delgado tells KGUN. "It was very disturbing."

The transcript of the verbal exchange in question:

911: Is your girlfriend still on fire?

Caller: No.

911: No? (laughter in background)

911: Okay (chuckles). Umm...Is your vehicle still on fire?

Caller: It's hilarious huh?

911: Sir, is your vehicle still on fire?

Caller: I just heard you smirk...(inaudible).

911: Okay, sir, it wasn't regarding that okay.

Caller: Yeah, I just heard you laugh.

"You're calling for help, you shouldn't be laughed at," Delgado says, adding that his girlfriend was seriously injured in the accident but is recovering, the Daily News reports.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department agrees that the dispatcher's behavior was inappropriate.

(Credit: KGUN)

"We did not perform as I expect or the citizens of this county should," Capt. Jim Berry tells KGUN. "We're going to correct that. Certainly I can understand why the caller was upset. I would be, too."

While an investigation into the laughing incident reportedly began before Delgado's lodged a complaint, officials say response time wasn't affected by the gaffe, which was characterized as isolated, KGUN notes.

Delgado disagrees: "If she wasn't there playing around giggling I think she would have just been right on it. One minute, two minutes, every minute counts."

Lalo even called back to make sure the dispatcher followed through on his emergency call:

911: 911, what is your emergency?

Caller: Yeah.

911: Hello?

Caller: Yeah I called in a few minutes ago and I just wanted to make sure you took me seriously.

"Hopefully the next person that calls 911 doesn't get laughed at," Delgado tells KGUN.

Here's a report from KGUN, including clips from the 911 call:

Featured image via KGUN.



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