View Poll Results: Should the 911 dispatcher have been more sympathetic?

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    10 90.91%
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Thread: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

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    Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/usworld/article/312508/6/Cleveland-Dispatchers-lack-of-empathy-to-Amandas-9-1-1-call?sf12562909=1

    What do you think? Did the dispatcher show a lack of sympathy? I used to be a 911 dispatcher, and that's a very important part of the job. You have to be sympathetic to the caller, no matter what they are going through.

    The director is trying to make excuses by saying that the dispatcher might be too young to remember the case, but I think that's bunk. If someone calls you and says they were kidnapped, it doesn't matter WHO they are - that dispatcher should have stayed on the line with the caller. That was another thing we were taught - in an emergent situation, you stay on the line, to calm the caller. This dispatcher tried twice to get off the phone with this kid, and she was obviously upset.
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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    I think so. The first time I watched the video with the audio of the call I felt that he was being rude, impatient, and not empathetic at all.
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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/usworld/article/312508/6/Cleveland-Dispatchers-lack-of-empathy-to-Amandas-9-1-1-call?sf12562909=1

    What do you think? Did the dispatcher show a lack of sympathy? I used to be a 911 dispatcher, and that's a very important part of the job. You have to be sympathetic to the caller, no matter what they are going through.

    The director is trying to make excuses by saying that the dispatcher might be too young to remember the case, but I think that's bunk. If someone calls you and says they were kidnapped, it doesn't matter WHO they are - that dispatcher should have stayed on the line with the caller. That was another thing we were taught - in an emergent situation, you stay on the line, to calm the caller. This dispatcher tried twice to get off the phone with this kid, and she was obviously upset.
    Fail, fail, fail.
    He did show a terrible lack of empathy. She's in a terrible panic, explaining who she is and he says "Talk to the police when they get there", three times! All the other 911 calls I've heard, they are calming, assuring the caller the police are on the way. He doesn't want to hear it. What a jerk. I heard he was skeptical when the neighbor first called in, but I can't find a transcript of that portion of the 911 call. I think it was the guy who rescued her. He said the dispatcher wouldn't believe him so he handed the phone to her. Jeez! What if she couldn't have spoken from the shock of it all?
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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    Yes but IMHO that isn't as big of a problem as assuring to the best of the dispatcher's ability to protect the victim in case the perpetrator returns by keeping her on the phone until police arrived. One thing ladies are often told is to be on a cell phone if walking alone in an unlit area because just being on the phone will discourage a violent assault.
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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/usworld/article/312508/6/Cleveland-Dispatchers-lack-of-empathy-to-Amandas-9-1-1-call?sf12562909=1

    What do you think? Did the dispatcher show a lack of sympathy? I used to be a 911 dispatcher, and that's a very important part of the job. You have to be sympathetic to the caller, no matter what they are going through.

    The director is trying to make excuses by saying that the dispatcher might be too young to remember the case, but I think that's bunk. If someone calls you and says they were kidnapped, it doesn't matter WHO they are - that dispatcher should have stayed on the line with the caller. That was another thing we were taught - in an emergent situation, you stay on the line, to calm the caller. This dispatcher tried twice to get off the phone with this kid, and she was obviously upset.
    Fail, fail, fail.
    I agree with you. And good for the PD for calling her out for it. You stay on the line. No excuses.
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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    What most matters to me is the police got there in 90 seconds - and 3 more rescued.

    And what I care about is did the catch the 52 year old yet - and what is going to be done to him?

    I don't criticize the 911 as it is presumed that operator was trying to hang up - but didn't and I don't hear for certain was going to necessarily. The dispatcher MAY have wanted to shift ASAP! from the call to getting any cop there ASAP as the priority - and the dispatcher can NOT both be talking to the caller AND communicating with patrol officers. The fact of the 90 second response means - ultimately - the dispatcher did GOOD!

    Too many police dispatchers chatter away, try to do police interviews on the phone, and otherwise act like investigative cops. Assuring that girl was not what mattered at all. And a second spent on that was a second lost getting an officer there. The dispatcher got an officer there in record time. So well done in my book. I suspect the typical response time in Cleveland might be measured in hours.

    I voted no because I don't think "sympathy" is the measure of job performance in this instance. Getting an officer there was. She got the info - and fast - her name, confirmed the CORRECT address, the perp's name, assured more than once an officer on the way, tried to get a description - while at the same time having an officer rolling.

    Now we want the dispatcher to be Dr. Phil too? The dispatcher remained calm, professional and got the job done - remembering being a police dispatcher is a particularly crappy job with the phone ringing off the wall with any and every possible senario having to instantly decide between crank, bizarre, non-emergency and emergency prioritizing.
    Last edited by joko104; 05-08-13 at 01:42 PM.

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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    I don't know too much about 911 dispatching but it seems to me that he should have been trying to keep her on the line as opposed to rushing her off.

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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    I was shocked when the dispatch said, "we'll send the police soon as we get a car open." I think her priority was high enough to call some donut eaters out of Dunkin's parking lot.


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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/usworld/article/312508/6/Cleveland-Dispatchers-lack-of-empathy-to-Amandas-9-1-1-call?sf12562909=1

    What do you think? Did the dispatcher show a lack of sympathy? I used to be a 911 dispatcher, and that's a very important part of the job. You have to be sympathetic to the caller, no matter what they are going through.

    The director is trying to make excuses by saying that the dispatcher might be too young to remember the case, but I think that's bunk. If someone calls you and says they were kidnapped, it doesn't matter WHO they are - that dispatcher should have stayed on the line with the caller. That was another thing we were taught - in an emergent situation, you stay on the line, to calm the caller. This dispatcher tried twice to get off the phone with this kid, and she was obviously upset.
    Fail, fail, fail.
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    Re: Did the 911 dispatcher show a lack of empathy?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    What most matters to me is the police got there in 90 seconds - and 3 more rescued.

    And what I care about is did the catch the 52 year old yet - and what is going to be done to him?

    I don't criticize the 911 as it is presumed that operator was trying to hang up - but didn't and I don't hear for certain was going to necessarily. The dispatcher MAY have wanted to shift ASAP! from the call to getting any cop there ASAP as the priority - and the dispatcher can NOT both be talking to the caller AND communicating with patrol officers. The fact of the 90 second response means - ultimately - the dispatcher did GOOD!

    Too many police dispatchers chatter away, try to do police interviews on the phone, and otherwise act like investigative cops. Assuring that girl was not what mattered at all. And a second spent on that was a second lost getting an officer there. The dispatcher got an officer there in record time. So well done in my book. I suspect the typical response time in Cleveland might be measured in hours.

    I voted no because I don't think "sympathy" is the measure of job performance in this instance. Getting an officer there was. She got the info - and fast - her name, confirmed the CORRECT address, the perp's name, assured more than once an officer on the way, tried to get a description - while at the same time having an officer rolling.

    Now we want the dispatcher to be Dr. Phil too? The dispatcher remained calm, professional and got the job done - remembering being a police dispatcher is a particularly crappy job with the phone ringing off the wall with any and every possible senario having to instantly decide between crank, bizarre, non-emergency and emergency prioritizing.
    Couldn't disagree more. You HAVE to stay on the line in an emergency. That is 911 Dispatcher 101. They teach that on the first day. This person obviously didn't give a ****. It was clear in the recording how they didn't want to be bothered and kept trying to hang up. I think the operator should be fired. And yes, a dispatcher is trained, and has the equipment, to speak simultaneously, to different responders. We were taught to gently ask the caller to hold the line while we went to the police band and fire band. We NEVER let them leave. It can all be done at the same time, all the while maintaining a bit of professionalism. And yes, you do have to kind of be Dr. Phil in a situation like that. You don't have to give them boyfriend advice, of course, but your job is to keep the caller calm until help arrives.
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