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A New Mexico emergency 9-1-1 dispatcher has resigned after a tape in which he tells a caller: “OK, you know what ma’am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?
The dispatcher, Matthew Sanchez, was dealing with 17-year-old Esperanza Quintero, whose friend had been shot in a drive-by shooting in Albuquerque.
In the recording the panicked Quintero is heard swearing at Sanchez after he repeatedly asks whether Chavez-Silver is breathing.
‘My friend is dying’
During the call, Mr Sanchez asks the young woman if Chavez-Silver is breathing, to which she replies: “Barely!”
She is then heard encouraging her friend before Mr Sanchez asks the same question again.
An exasperated Ms Quintero responds using an expletive to which Mr Sanchez says: “OK, you know what ma’am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?”
From the tape it appears that Mr Sanchez hangs up as the caller says: “No, my friend is dying”.
Earlier this week, Ms Quintero told the local KOAT-TV network: “It was his job. I don’t understand why he would have hung up.”
The incident took place on June 23 and the dispatcher, Sanchez,  was reassigned after the incident. However, Sanchez quit on Tuesday after a recording of the call was released.

 

It is true that 9-1-1 dispatchers ask their questions for a reason.  At the same time, they are – and should expect to be – dealing with distraught callers. Was the caller here impolite? Yes. Did that warrant the dispatcher hanging up on her? In my view,  no.  This story brought to my mind the iconic Daily News headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”

 

– Karim
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