1. #1
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    Exclamation 911 Dispatcher Reprimanded Over Wisecrack

    911 Dispatcher Reprimanded Over Wisecrack

    Wed Apr 13, 3:36 PM ET U.S. National - AP



    WATAUGA, Texas - A 911 dispatcher was reprimanded for responding to a mother's plea for help with an unruly child by saying: "OK. Do you want us to come over to shoot her?"



    "I admit what I did. It was stupid, it was inexcusable and I'm sorry," said dispatcher Mike Forbess.


    The woman, identified only as Lori in Wednesday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said she recently phoned authorities after coming home to find her daughters fighting. She told the dispatcher that her 12-year-old had kicked a hole in the door.


    After Forbess' comment, the woman fell silent for about five seconds.


    "Are you there?" Forbess asked.


    "Excuse me?" the woman asked.


    Forbess, a dispatcher for five years at the Watauga Department of Public Safety, told her he was joking and apologized. But the woman was offended, and Forbess immediately told his supervisor what happened.


    "This type of response cannot be tolerated, and this letter shall serve as notice that any future unprofessional responses while answering the 911 line will be cause for termination," Police Chief David Van Laar wrote to Forbess.


    Watauga is a Fort Worth suburb of about 22,100 residents.

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    He should be fired immediately! My God what an insensitive comment! Why, that five seconds of silence could have meant the difference between life and death.

    Let's judge this poor excuse for a man's life based on this 10 second exchange. Oh wait. I think we need a 15 second minimum to actually judge him. Sorry.

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    Heard the tape of this on the news this morning. The silence after his comment was pretty impressive, stunned would cover it. File this one under 'highly inappropriate', smack him upside the head, and move on.

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    This is why I would never be a dispatcher. Why would a parent call 911 for an unruly child?

    Not trying to excuse the guy, but I wonder if the comment was made out of frustration?
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    told her he was joking and apologized.
    and Forbess immediately told his supervisor what happened
    He screwed up, he knew it, he apologized to the caller and reported himself to superiors. It was a stupid thing to do, but he followed up correctly.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Frustration or not, no excuse for the comment. Less uproar if maybe he said spank or something, but considering the school shootings and other stuff happening, definitely the wrong thing to say.

    I must say I found it amusing that the parent that couldn't discipline her own 12 y/o child wants stronger punishment for the dispatcher. I don't know about the rest of you, but if I ever kicked a hole in the wall in my parent's house, I don't think I would have been able to sit for a week.

    Thanks Hillary, the village is really raising the child well.

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    Nanny-one-one?
    Last edited by Dalmatian90; 04-14-2005 at 09:22 AM.
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    Originally posted by Bones42

    He screwed up, he knew it, he apologized to the caller and reported himself to superiors. It was a stupid thing to do, but he followed up correctly.
    But many people here wanted to subject a CT State Trooper to capaital punishment for an equally insensitive and stupid thing on a 911 call.

    Hmmm, double standard (by some people)?

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    Double Standard?

    On the internet George?

    Surely, you jest!
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    Yes George, I remember the thread. They probably won't appear here and comment.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I was a dispatcher for awhile, and I have to admit when I read this article, I chuckled a bit for the dispatcher. There were of LOT of occasions where I wanted to make a comment like this, but fortunately I was able to bite my tongue (sometimes until it bled) and say the right thing.

    For example, when a lady called 911 to report that she had picked up a stray dog and needed an officer to take it to the pound. I wanted to ask, "Is the dog attacking somebody? Is the dog in danger? Is the dog ON FIRE? Can you explain why you called 911 for this?"

    I read an article that said the three most stressful jobs in the world were:

    1. Neurosurgeon
    2. Air traffic controller
    3. 911 dispatcher

    So, cut him some slack. I say, slap his hand and let him go back to work.

    And off the record, I want to buy this guy a beer for having the b*lls to say what we have always wanted to say.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI


    But many people here wanted to subject a CT State Trooper to capaital punishment for an equally insensitive and stupid thing on a 911 call.

    Hmmm, double standard (by some people)?
    Yeah motorcylce wreck with injury and parent with a misbehaving child, yeah same type of call with the same type of urgancy involved. If i recall the trooper did not even send aid after multiple calls. At least this dispatcher knew they screwed up and immediately attempted to rectify the situation.
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    George, there is a little bit of difference here between the two. This guy didn't say oh well and hang up (whether help was dispatched or not). Neither of them deserve termination over it regardless. But like you said, I'm sure plenty of people will base thei decision on this man's career over the 2 minutes about it they are aware of.
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    "And off the record, I want to buy this guy a beer for having the b*lls to say what we have always wanted to say."

    Heres to that!!!!I'll buy his second drink. As a dispatcher also I would have commend this guy on the way he handled himself after he said this. Slap on the hand and back to work!!!No harm no foul.
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    Originally posted by ECFD924
    "And off the record, I want to buy this guy a beer for having the b*lls to say what we have always wanted to say."

    Heres to that!!!!I'll buy his second drink. As a dispatcher also I would have commend this guy on the way he handled himself after he said this. Slap on the hand and back to work!!!No harm no foul.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    If i recall the trooper did not even send aid after multiple calls

    You have a very bad memory.

    Fire & Police had already been dispatched.
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    If i recall the trooper did not even send aid after multiple calls

    You have a very bad memory.

    Fire & Police had already been dispatched.
    I thought that nothing was dispatched until the third call? Or at least that was what the article made it sound like.
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    No, not at all.

    The Trooper wasn't even located at the 911 center that served that community, which had already received and processed the call, and notified that barracks of the incident. They were taking additional calls on an incident they already knew of.
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    I've had my share of irate people laying in to me because of the way they were treated, or felt they were treated by the first person who picked up the call. Needless to say, if I'm gonna get chewed out, at least let me be the screw-up.

    Shoot the kid? Stupid!

    CT Operator Saying, "oh, too bad" and hanging up? Stupid!

    Are these worthy of a little more than a wrist slap? Yeah, I think they are. You know you're on tape and you know callers who have come to the point of calling 911 are just a bit on edge.

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    A slap on the wrist? My, the double standard rears it's ugly head. Many of you were calling for immediate termination for the trooper. Some even called for him to be prosecuted. Buy him drinks? Did you say that about the trooper. Nope. Because of the double standard.

    Some of you are pathetic.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    A slap on the wrist? My, the double standard rears it's ugly head. Many of you were calling for immediate termination for the trooper. Some even called for him to be prosecuted. Buy him drinks? Did you say that about the trooper. Nope. Because of the double standard.

    Some of you are pathetic.
    No double standard, they are two very different levels of infrations. I do say that buying anyone that pulls this sort of thing a beer though is kind of off track.
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    No double standard, they are two very different levels of infrations.

    How are they different?

    In both cases, the people at the dispatch center knew no matter what they said, in the grand scheme of things it just didn't friggin matter. No one was going to live or die based on their actions.

    The Trooper knew an accident had already been reported in that area and units where enroute.

    Dispatcher knew he had a call that wasn't a true emergency.

    Both unwisely vented a bit of fustration, whether it was about kids screwing around racing on a private road, or a parent who couldn't control a couple of 12 year olds.
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    Red face SORRY YOU HAVE A JOB TO DO!

    The smart A** should have been fired!There is no room for that kind of remark.Some dispatchers in general find it easy to be smart or sarcastic with the public and responders do to the protect that is provided by hiding behind a radio or phone.

    If we (RESPONDERS) were to take the tone ,in person that some dispatcher use when dispatching ,there would be h*** to pay.Someone would be the proud owner of a cracked head.

    The dispatching crystal ball thats all seeing and knowing should be made available for the rest of the team!
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    No double standard, they are two very different levels of infrations.

    How are they different?

    In both cases, the people at the dispatch center knew no matter what they said, in the grand scheme of things it just didn't friggin matter. No one was going to live or die based on their actions.

    The Trooper knew an accident had already been reported in that area and units where enroute.

    Dispatcher knew he had a call that wasn't a true emergency.

    Both unwisely vented a bit of fustration, whether it was about kids screwing around racing on a private road, or a parent who couldn't control a couple of 12 year olds.
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/showthread.php?threadid=68177
    When were the reports that the Trooper had already dispatched units? From reading this thread again it seems that nothing was done until another dispatcher answered on the third try.

    Seems that one was an accident with apparent injury, while the other was an out of control kid. I see them as two very different incidents. Add to that that the second guy immediately realized his screw up while the trooper continued it in the second call. Big differences there in my eyes.http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=68177
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    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    what norm means is that because this guy is a civilian or fire department dispatcher, and the majority of the people aren't calling for his job, that they are all anti cop, because they were calling for the immediate termination of the trooper who acted similarly, but in a different situation. now if this person had been a police officer and dispatcher, you could be assured that GWCFI would be the first person coming to his defense. but is is funny to watch him try to deny that he would do it, or pretend that it wouldn't happen. kind of sad, really....

    should this guy be disciplined? absolutely. whether it be a slap on the wrist, a letter of reprimand, whatever, there should be a disciplinary action taken. however, I will give him credit for immediately reporting his actions to his supervisor, something I sincerly doubt the trooper would have done.
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