911 Dispatcher Snores Through Emergency

He was 17 hours into a 24-hour shift
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2012 4:09 PM CDT
A stock photo of a rotary phone.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you're in a situation where you have to dial 911, the last thing you want to hear on the other side of the phone is snoring. But that's what a Maryland woman heard when she called emergency services to help her husband, reports NBC4 in Washington. In the April incident, the woman called 911 and was transferred to a snoozing dispatcher. She needed an ambulance because her husband couldn't breathe, but all she got was silence.

After realizing something was wrong, the original operator broke back into the call and directed the woman to a second dispatcher. As the second dispatcher gave the woman instructions, the first dispatcher could be heard snoring (18 times) before finally awaking. The napping dispatcher was a firefighter 17 hours into a 24-hour shift, say Montgomery County officials. He is on leave pending an investigation. The ailing husband, meanwhile, made it to the hospital and is reportedly doing fine. Click to read the full NBC4 report, which includes a partial transcript. (Read more 911 call stories.)

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