If you call customer service, most people know to tone down the language, even if they are very angry. Customer service agents are known to hang up on rude customers, but 911 is a service, not a business, and their operators are trained to deal with people in all levels of stress.
Unfortunately, one Albuquerque, New Mexico, firefighter, who was working the 911 dispatch lines, appeared to have flunked dealing with stressed-out callers. Dispatcher Matthew Sanchez hung up on 17-year-old Esperanza Quintero, who was trying to get help for her friend who had been shot in a drive by shooting. The reason? The caller said “f*cking.”
QUINTERO, the caller: I’m doing CPR as we speak. I’m keeping him alive.
SANCHEZ, the dispatcher: Okay, is he not breathing?
QUINTERO: Barely. Stay with him. [inaudible] Stay with him, good job. Just stay with me, okay, okay. There you go. Good job Jaydon.
SANCHEZ: Is he breathing?
QUINTERO: He’s barely breathing. How many times do I have to f—— tell you?
SANCHEZ: Okay, you know what ma’am? You could deal with it yourself. I’m not gonna deal with this, okay?
QUINTERO: No, my friend is dying —
Sanchez ended the call mid-sentence.
Sanchez is not a rookie. He’s been with his job for 10 years. Presumably, this is not the first time he’s heard the “F” word.
Fortunately for Sanchez, the first responders were already on their way before he hung up the phone. Unfortunately, it was too late for Jayden Chavez-Silver, who was an accidental casualty of a drive-by shooting. Sanchez is not being blamed for the death, but he has resigned.
Here’s the video:
Featured image via KRQE screen capture