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911 operator laughs as man reports his girlfriend is on fire

An Arizona law enforcement agency is investigating the way dispatchers handle calls after a 911 operator cracked up.
By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Oct. 3, 2013 at 11:12 AM   |   Comments

Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The Pima County Sheriff's Department is dealing with one employee's un-funny business.

The Arizona law enforcement agency is investigating how one 911 dispatcher laughed while handled an emergency call.

Lalo Delgado and his girlfriend were on their way to Chiva Falls, Ariz., when he called 911 for help.

“My car just kinda caught on fire, my girlfriend caught on fire,” Delgado told the operator.

“Is your girlfriend still on fire?” the operator replies.

Caller: "No."

911: "No?"

(laughter in background)

911: "OK. (more laughs) 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 calls back seeking help and to make sure aid was on the way.

911: "911, what is your emergency?"

Caller: "Yeah."

911: "Hello?"

Caller: "Yeah, I called in a few minutes ago and I just wanted to make sure you took me seriously."

It is unclear whether the operator was laughing at the call or something else happening at the dispatch.

"You're calling for help, you shouldn't be laughed at," Delgado said.

"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."

But they call this an "isolated incident." County dispatchers receiver more than 400,000 911 calls. They dispatch approximately 130,000.

"We're investigating what the laughter was about," said Berry.

"Hopefully the next person that calls 911 doesn't get laughed at," said Delgado.

The dispatcher is still working pending the outcome of the investigation. Delgado's girlfriend is slowly recovering.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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