An emergency dispatcher has been reassigned after telling a teen who had witnessed her father being fatally struck by a vehicle to “stop whining,” WJZ reports.
According to the news station, the teenage girl saw both her father and his fiancee being hit by a car on the Baltimore-Washington Highway and frantically called 911 for help. The response she got, however, was reportedly far from comforting.
“Can you all hurry up, please?” the girl asked the operator.
“Ma’am, listen, let’s stop worrying about hurrying up and get there. We are already on our way,” the dispatcher reportedly replied.
The family were riding in the car when they caught a flat. The teen and her little brother stayed inside the car while her father, 38-year-old Rick Warrick, got out to fix the flat with his fiancee, who was holding a flashlight when a car struck them. The car kept going after crashing into the couple. Warrick died, but his fiancee did not receive any life-threatening injuries.
“Most people that listen to that tape, and myself included, [think that’s not how] I would want to be treated if I called 911 or if I had a family member or friend calling a 911 dispatcher,” Capt. Russ Davies of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department in Maryland told WYJZ.
Here is an excerpt from the recording, provided by WJZ:
Caller: They just laying here. Nothing. They just laying here.
Dispatcher: Is there someone else there I can talk to because it’s so hard.
Caller: It’s only my little brother. Only my little brother.
Dispatcher: So two people were struck.
Caller: Yes, they both just laying there.
Dispatcher: OK, let’s stop whining. OK, Let’s stop whining. It’s hard to understand you.
The department says that the dispatcher’s response was not normal. “It was not handled in a professional manner, certainly didn’t meet our expectations,” Davies said. “We know that when you call 911, that’s the entryway into our service and you need to be treated professionally and it needs to be an efficient process.”
Read more at WJZ.