911 operator ignored emergency call while ordering pizza on another line
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — An emergency call to a 911 dispatcher went unanswered after the employee was on the other line ordering pizza, according to an investigation from the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
According to reports, in September, a young man had a seizure and passed out while at an optometrist’s office and someone called 911. However, they never got through, and they never received a call back. “First they called from their office, no answer,” said Jared Goodman, a store employee. “I called from my cellphone. Again, no answer. Other people in the store tried calling, and nobody picked up.”
The Sentinel reported that a Broward Sheriff’s Office investigation revealed that the only dispatcher available at the time was busy placing a seven-minute food order to Poppy’s Pizza.
A recording of the call revealed some of the order.
Dispatcher: “Let me have one slice of cheese pizza. Let me have a lunch special, the pizza lunch special– two cheese pizzas and a Coke. Let me have the lunch special– two pepperonis and a Coke. Let me have a one slice of pepperoni pizza. Let me have a, I guess a cup of– what is it? Pasta fagioli … fagioli. I don’t know what I was saying.”
Restaurant: “That’s OK, it doesn’t look anything like that.”
Dispatcher: “OK, let me have a tuna mini on white bread. Provolone cheese. Let me have onions and tomatoes, salt and pepper. I guess oil and vinegar.”
“If I call 911, someone should pick up that phone,” said Goodman. “It would make me feel a lot better.”
According to BSO, the call-taker admitted to her mistake and received a written reprimand in December.
BSO released the following statement after the investigation: “When we were made aware of the complaint, immediate action was taken. An internal affairs investigation was conducted and determined the employee did violate agency policy. As a result, she was disciplined.”
As for the young man who passed out, he reportedly regained consciousness and was OK.