Monday, January 19, 2009

Emergency caller claims mistreatment by 911 staff

A man whose family was facing a medical emergency in Chester, California says they were mistreated by 911 dispatchers. Robert St. Clair says dispatchers transferred his calls to an automated message while his father, Guy St. Clair, was unconscious on the floor.

Guy St. Clair fell backwards and hit his head on the corner of a pool table. Robert St. Clair called 911 from the house phone line but couldn't hear anything from the 911 staff.

Plumas County Sheriff's deputies say the call registered at their dispatch center in Quincy and a deputy was there within a few minutes.

But, Robert St. Clair did not know that so he called 911 again from his cellphone. Cellphone calls in the area go to the California Highway Patrol dispatch center in Susanville.

St. Clair says the dispatcher he spoke with didn't tell him that help was on the way and even transfered him to an automated message designated for non-emergency calls. Frustrated, St. Clair called back at least four times and every time he was switched to the automated message.

All this took place over a time period of about five to ten minutes. An ambulance arrived within that time period. By that time, Guy St. Clair had regained consciousness. He has fully recovered. (info from KHSL TV)

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