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911 dispatcher falls asleep during emergency call

7:18 PM, May 22, 2012   |    comments
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By Jeanne Moos

(CNN) - Sleeping on the job is not a good idea.

But just imagine calling to report an emergency, only to hear snoring on the other end.

We've all been there; elbow falling off the armrest as we fall asleep.

But it's one thing to snooze during a speech and another to snooze during a 911 call.

Around 12:30 a.m. a call came in from an apartment complex to Montgomery County, Maryland Fire and Rescue.

The dispatcher apparently doses off during the call. A second dispatcher takes over, but the sleeping one remains on the line as the caller reports her husband is apparently unconscious.

The snoring confuses the second dispatcher who mistakes it for the victim having trouble breathing.

You can actually hear the dispatcher snore maybe 17 or 18 times during the course of the 911 call.

"In my 24 years here this is the only time a dispatcher has ever fallen asleep on a 911 call," said Assistant Chief Scott Graham.

It turns out, the firefighter taking the call was 17 hours into his shift.

"He was 20 minutes away from going into his rest period," said Graham.

Now he's on paid administrative leave. As for the patient, the deputy chief says the incident had no adverse impact on the victim's condition.

About five and a half minutes into the call, the sleeping dispatcher wakes up picking up where he left off and mutters a question.

Who knew 911 needed a wakeup call.


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