'NIGHTMARE': Texas man dies of heart attack while wife is put on hold by 911 for 15 MINUTES!
AUSTIN, TEXAS: A Texas man died of heart attack while his wife helplessly waited on hold with 911 for 15 long minutes. In May, Tanya Gotcher discovered her husband Cassy Gotcher lying on the floor and immediately dialed 911, believing he had a heart attack.
“The phone just ringing, and ringing, and ringing,” Tanya told CBS Austin. The delay in responding to the call resulted in the death of her spouse. The portal reported that her spouse died while they were waiting for an ambulance. The woman claimed she urged her father-in-law to also phone the emergency dispatcher so that she wouldn't lose her place in line, and his call took more than 10 minutes.
Tanya's call to 911 was recently included in a campaign ad for Travis County judge candidate Rupal Chaudhari. "It took him 10 minutes, and then the 911 company realized he was in a different county, so they transferred him, and it took another three minutes," Gotcher said. "Mine was a minimum of 15 if not 20 minutes." “When you hear the phone ring for 15 minutes and you can’t get to anybody to help you is the worst nightmare that you could have,” she continued describing how she was performing CPR on her husband while she waited for a caller, as per reported by NY Post.
Austin's 911 dispatch center has been experiencing a personnel shortfall, which has led to backlogs and delays in responding to emergency calls. Austin City Councilor Mackenzie Kelly informed Fox News that 19 out of 75 dispatcher positions and nearly half of the 911 operator positions at the city call center are both open. According to the outlet, Austin residents had to wait roughly 2.5 minutes for their 911 call to be answered in October. The city's 911 call response time is much slower than the country's standard. According to Fox News, 64% of 911 calls in Austin were addressed within 15 seconds, compared to a national average of 90% within that time frame or less.
The department has been hiring additional personnel to fill the positions, according to Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon, and it is also taking measures to reduce burnout and improve pay, including through stipends and bonuses. Additionally, the city of Austin declared it will increase pay for 911 call takers and dispatchers. “The City of Austin is planning to make salary adjustments leading to more pay for some existing 911 Call Takers and Police Dispatcher staff to address pay compression that resulted from the recent Living Wage increase,” a representative of the city said in a statement. “These efforts, combined with stipends and the development of a Citywide recruitment campaign, support the retention of existing employees and aim to assist in filling staff vacancies at Austin Police Department’s emergency call center.”