Thursday, August 14, 2008

Person seeking aid for fatally injured cyclist called 911 and was told to call another number

The director of emergency services in Prescott-Russell (part of Ontario, Canada) says he is asking for a review into why a 911 caller was asked to hang up and try another emergency number following a fatal crash between a truck and a cyclist last week.

Michel Chr├ętien said he is asking the Ontario Ministry of Health to examine why Quebec 911 dispatchers told Antonio Hanna to call the Ontario Provincial Police at Star 677 instead of immediately redirecting his call to the provincial force.

The *677 number didn't work and it wasn't until a driver used the OnStar button in his vehicle that help was dispatched to the crash Monday that killed April Nauta and injured her riding companion, Pedro Villanueva.

Nauta sustained severe head trauma and died last Tuesday after being taken to a hospital. Villanueva sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was released from the hospital.

911 calls in Prescott-Russell are directed to a call center in North Bay. Those calls are then transferred to the appropriate local emergency service once the dispatcher determines where the caller is calling from. It is not clear if Keith's call was transferred to the call center in North Bay or another 911 dispatch center.

However, Chr├ętien said his department "most definitely" wants answers as to why protocol wasn't followed when Hanna's cellphone call was routed to the Quebec 911 dispatchers. (info from The Ottawa Citizen)

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