Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Man blames 911 center for wife's death

Richard Boos of Minneapolis said he couldn't reach anyone Saturday when he called 911 when his wife Phyllis said she couldn't breathe. The 67-year-old woman, who was on oxygen and had asthma, diabetes and a bad heart, died. They were married for over 50 years.

"I tried so hard to keep her alive and it didn't do any good," Richard said. "I blame those people because they wouldn't answer."

According to 911 records, his first call came in at 11:02 p.m. When the operator picked up one minute and 28 seconds later, Richard hung up in frustration. When he called again at 11:05 p.m., it took operators 29 seconds to pick up. Again, Richard had given up.

John Dejung, the 911 assistant city coordinator, admits that it took too long to pick up the call from Richard. The goal is to answer calls within 10 seconds or less. "First and foremost, I apologize to the family. I do understand that the patient died in this case," said Dejung. "We're looking into every angle, technological issues, how busy the 911 center was, was human error involved? (We'll) look into all those things."

From the time Richard made the first call, it took firefighters seven minutes and two seconds to get to the scene. Phyllis later died in the emergency room. (info from KSAX TV)

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