A 911 operator laughs as the following report was called in last week: “My car just kinda caught on fire, my girlfriend caught on fire.” The call was made by Tucson man Lalo Delgado to an Arizona 911 dispatch center, who, along with his girlfriend, were in an accident as they drove to Chiva Falls, a popular attraction in Arizona, reports the Inquisitr on Oct. 2.
Seconds count in a 911 emergency. Instead, peals of laughter can be heard as Delgado attempts to explain his emergency. The dispatcher on the other end of the line can clearly be heard laughing. Delgado, who also heard the laughing, calls out the female 911 operator in this hear-it-to-believe-it audio recording.
The full text of the conversation:
“My car just kinda caught on fire, my girlfriend caught on fire,” Delgado first tells the operator.
“Is your girlfriend still on fire?” the 911 operator replies.
(Laughter is then heard in the background, and from the 911 dispatcher.)
911: "OK. Umm... Is your vehicle still on fire?"
Caller: "It's hilarious, huh?"
911: "Sir, is your vehicle still on fire?"
Caller: "I just heard you smirk..."
911: "OK, sir it wasn't regarding that, OK."
Caller: "Yeah, I just heard you laugh."
Delgado was disgusted by the way he was treated. Even if the woman was not laughing at his call, which she claims, to chuckle flippantly when you are in potential life and death situation is beyond unprofessional.
“You're calling for help, you shouldn't be laughed at,” Delgado later said.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department agreed, admitting that their dispatcher messed up.
“We did not perform as I expect or the citizens of this county expect us to,” said Capt. Jim Berry. “We're going to correct that. Certainly I can understand why he was upset. I would be too.”
Delgado even called 911 back, unconvinced that anyone had taken his report seriously.
911: "911, what is your emergency?"
Caller: "Yeah, I called in a few minutes ago and I just wanted to make sure you took me seriously."
The Pima County Sherrif’s Department said the incident was already being investigated before Delgado made a formal complaint, as all 911 calls are recorded and reviewed. Officials say despite the call taker's poor performance, response time was not affected by the dismissive giggling.
“If she wasn't there playing around giggling and would have been right on it,” said Delgado. “One minute, two minutes, every minute counts man.”
The unnamed dispatcher is still on the job as investigators review the incident. Delgado says police and an ambulance came to the scene, and treated his girlfriend, who is expected to fully recover.
What are your thoughts? Did Delgado waste time by calling out the operator, who did seem to be laughing at something else in the background? Or was the dispatcher's behavior inexcusable? Sound off below.