An Arkansas mother is dead and her son is in critical condition after a 911 operator failed to follow required procedures. The operator, who is currently under paid administrative leave, failed to enter the call into an automatic system that would have dispatched emergency personnel to the scene.
Jinglei YI, age 39, and her son were trapped inside a vehicle in a half-frozen pond. The vehicle went over a curb and into the water after skidding on a patch of ice.
An ambulance was dispatched immediately, but police and firefighters were not notified until nearly a half-hour later. When the ambulance arrived on scene, they were alarmed to realize that police and firefighters had never been dispatched.
According to reports, the 911 operator ended the call after a very brief conversation rather than keeping her on the line, which is an available option. The Associated Press obtained and published a transcript of the 911 call:
“‘The water is in my car right now.”
“OK, ma’am, we’re going to get some help on the way for you, OK?”
“OK. Thank you.”
Yi died within hours of the incident, and her son is currently in critical condition. As reported by The Washington Post, it is still unclear whether the dispatcher’s failure to follow procedure was responsible for Yi’s death. The cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner.
The operator, whose name has not been released, was hired last March and had just completed a probationary period last September. Authorities are currently investigating whether the operator’s failure to follow procedure is responsible for the death of the mother and the critical condition of her son. No charges have currently been filed.