Mobile "ghost calls" clog 911 and may have led to baby's death
- Author: Phil Peters Mar 17, 2017,
Mar 17, 2017, 1:24
After the recent deaths, including a six-month-old baby, the statistics may soon change.
Mayor Mike Rawlings called situation was "very frustrating". City officials have been bringing in additional staff on overtime to try to keep up with the call load.
"Last Saturday, there was an experience and spike in calls we had not seen before", said T.C. Broadnax.
Brandon Alex's babysitter was reportedly on hold for over 30-minutes while Brandon's life hung in the balance. Phone records show that Alex's babysitter was on hold for 31 minutes. However, an issue involving T-Mobile customers in Dallas is interfering with speedy 911 contact.
The city says extra staffers will work in the 911 call center to alleviate the wait times.
The city says the problem is 911 operators have to call back every number that registers as a hang up just to figure out if there actually is an emergency.
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Rawlings said the problem means the city isn't performing one of its core functions: ensuring people's safety.
"We will stay on this until it is fully resolved and everybody can rest comfortably that when they call 911 and they call for an emergency request for help, it will be addressed immediately", said David Carey, executive vice president for T-Mobile.
The boy's mother drove home and ended up rushing her son to the hospital, she said, finally getting him medical attention over an hour after the baby sitter's first 911 call. Not all T-Mobile phones make the calls and they don't come at predictable times.
"There is no evidence at this time connecting the child's death to the T-Mobile ghost call issue". "That's all I want to know", Alex said. She made the second call at 5:57 p.m.
The update did not explain why the call surges are happening, but the city is adding more people to answer the phones. The dispatcher then must call back in an attempt to clarify whether the caller has an actual emergency. "I need to know why my son of six months is gone, that's what I want to know". "Legere committed to sending his top engineers to Dallas tomorrow morning", the city's announcement said. The Dallas Police Department alerted the public about the problem on February 7. After WFAA contacted the city about Brandon's death, Broadnax reached out directly to the CEO of T-Mobile.
'At the end of the day, I'm still going to be here hurt, because he's not going to be here, ' an emotional Alex told the station CBS DFW.