First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Dispatcher Falls Asleep While Taking Call – Starts Snoring on the Phone

Time For a Break

A MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND, FIRE and Rescue dispatcher had to be relieved on the job last month when he fell asleep during an emergency call.  The unidentified Communications Clerk was reportedly 17 hours into a 24-hour overtime shift when his fatigue took over.

Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center  (photo by Bordon)

NBC4 is reporting the story and tells us:

Just after midnight on April 4, a Montgomery County woman called 911 because her husband was having trouble breathing and was starting to turn blue.

Following protocol, a 911 call-taker answers and quickly transfers the woman to a dispatcher. He was supposed to send an ambulance.

But in the 911 recording call obtained by the News4 I-Team, all you can hear is silence in response to the woman’s repeated hellos. Caller: "Hello? Hello? Hello?"

Realizing something isn't right, the original call-taker breaks in. 911 Call-Taker: "OK, hold on one second ma'am. Let me try to get them on the line again."

Caller: "OK. Oh."

Sleeping Dispatcher: ((Snore))

The snores get louder as a new dispatcher tries to help the woman.

2nd Dispatcher: "Put one hand on his forehand, the other hand underneath his neck and tilt his head back."

Caller: "Yes."

Sleeping Dispatcher: ((Snore))

In the recording, the second dispatcher and the woman he was trying to help are both confused by the snoring. The second dispatcher repeatedly asked if the woman’s husband was making the noise.

Listen to the tape recording of the call:


The original tape has at least 18 snores recorded on it.  The dispatcher was immediately relieved from duty and put on paid admin. leave.

Read the entire transcript and story from NBC4 HERE.

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