A Pima County, Arizona 911 dispatcher is heard laughing during an emergency call placed by a motorist, Lolo Delgado, who called 911 after his girlfriend and his Jeep caught on fire.
After he hears laughing, Delgado wants to know what was so funny about his call.
At the beginning of the 911 call Delgado tells the dispatcher what happened.
Dispatcher: “911 what is your emergency?
Delgado: “Yea, my car just kinda caught fire, and my girlfriend caught on fire…”
Delgado says, in the exchange that followed the dispatcher didn’t seem to be taking him seriously.
Dispatcher: “Umm…is your girlfriend still on fire?”
Dispatcher: “No?” (laughter) “Okay…ummm…is your vehicle still on fire?”
Delgado: “It’s hilarious huh?”
Dispatcher: “Okay sir, is your vehicle still on fire?”
Delgado: “I just heard you smirk.”
Dispatcher: “Okay sir, it wasn’t regarding that, okay?”
Delgado: “Yea, i just heard you laugh. my vehicle is not on fire. Send the (expletive) whatever you guys have alright?”
Delgado says he believes the dispatcher wasn’t the only one who found his emergency humorous, “Her initial reaction was laughter and not just on her behalf but the people in the background”, Delgado said, “as soon as I told them what was going on it was just clearly that, they just burst out into laughter.”
Delgado filed a complaint. After an initial investigation, Pima County Sheriff, Cpt. Karl Woolridge, says the department agreed that the dispatcher’s behavior was inappropriate. “The dispatcher had a momentary lapse in professionalism and decorum without question,” said Cpt. Wooldridge.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is currently conducting an official investigation into the case. The result is still pending.
“The investigation has been conducted both on the division level, by the supervisors, the commanders involved in that chain of command”, Woolridge said, “It has also been referred to our internal affairs section so it will be reviewed more thoroughly and it will be forwarded to an administrative review board and they will look at the actions and make recommendations for any possible discipline out of this matter.”
Delgado says it took four hours to get his girlfriend airlifted to a hospital. Officials from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department say the remote area where the incident took place made it difficult to get to the location to provide emergency services.
The woman who was burned in the fire has 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 40-percent of her body. She is now resting at home.
The dispatcher has been with the Sheriff’s Department since April 2012. She will continue working until as a dispatcher until a decision is made by the department on the case.
More from KVOA: