Fox59 Wants to Know

Woman's call for help connected to wrong 911 center

Fox 59 wants to know why a 911 call wound up at the wrong emergency dispatch, costing crucial minutes and causing panic for one Indiana family.

Fox 59 wants to know why a 911 call wound up at the wrong emergency dispatch, costing crucial minutes and causing panic for one Indiana family.

On June 10th around 3:30 a.m., Beth Myers of Westfield called 911 from her cell phone after her 73-year-old mother Cecilia Raines looked like she was having a stroke.

Her call, however, went to the 911 dispatch in Anderson, some 25 miles away.

"I need an ambulance for my mom. She is a heart patient," Myers told the 911 dispatcher. "She’s breathing and her eyes are open really wide, but she's not talking."

When Myers told the dispatcher she was calling from Westfield, the dispatcher informed her again that she had been connected to the Anderson 911 dispatch.

Myers hung up and tried again, but the same Anderson dispatcher answered.

"Oh my God," said Myers over the phone. "Why is this happening?"

The dispatcher responded, "Ok. Just stay calm Just a minute," and began looking for a way to connect her to Westfield’s emergency center.

Moments later, Myers’ husband contacted Westfield police on his cell phone and an ambulance was on the way. However, Myers’ mother did not survive.

"She didn't make it that night. By the time they got her to the hospital, she was pronounced dead.

"I felt helpless," she added. "Why didn't it work?"

Fox 59 contacted dispatch centers in Anderson and Hamilton County and was told cell phone calls can go to the wrong 911 call center, depending on which center is closer to the cell phone tower, not the caller.

Myers' cell phone provider, Sprint, is looking into the incidents, but did not have a comment for Fox 59 by the time this story aired, Monday.

Myers can't say whether or not her mother would have survived if she had been connected to the right 911 call center. She just wants to make sure whatever went wrong is corrected immediately to protect other families.

"There's just so many situations where we need 911 and we need it to work."

Fox 59 will continue to follow this story.

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