Did this 911 operator really just laugh at this caller who said that his girlfriend is on fire? Yeah, that appears to be the case.
A recent Tuscon, Arizona emergency call is going viral today thanks to one operator’s impromptu cruelty. After a freak accident which left his car in flames, Lalo Delgado called 911. He explained that his girlfriend was caught in the accident and was on fire. At this point, the operator seems to giggle with other operators nearby.
“Her initial reaction was laugh and giggle in the background,” Delgado recalled. “It was very disturbing.”
Here’s a transcript of the moment he’s talking about:
911: Is your girlfriend still on fire?
(laughter in background)
911: Ok. (chuckles) Umm… Is your vehicle still on fire?
Caller: It’s hilarious huh?
911: Sir, is your vehicle still on fire?
Caller: I just heard you smirk… Inaudible.
911: Ok, sir it wasn’t regarding that ok.
Caller: Yeah, I just heard you laugh.
“You’re calling for help, you shouldn’t be laughed at,” Delgado said of the incident.
Whether the laughing was about Delgado’s girlfriend being immolated or not, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department took responsibility for the dispatcher’s attitude.
“We did not perform as I expect or the citizens of this county expect us to,” said Capt. Jim Berry. “We’re going to correct that. Certainly I can understand why he was upset. I would be too.”
“We’re investigating what the laughter was about,” he continued.
The 911 dispatcher in question hasn’t been suspended or fired pending an investigation. She had no prior incidents on her record, reports KGUN 9.
Officials also said that response time wasn’t affected by the flub, but Delgado disagrees. “If she wasn’t there playing around giggling and would have been right on it,” he said. “One minute, two minutes, every minute counts man.”
He even called back to make sure they took his call seriously. Emergency services had been dispatched during the previous call.
“Hopefully the next person that calls 911 doesn’t get laughed at,” Delgao said. As for his girlfriend, she is in recovery.