Most of us never think about having to call 911 and report any emergency, let alone a freak accident that could be mistaken for a prank. Unfortunately, an Arizona man named Lalo Delgado found himself in exactly that position when he had to call to report that his his girlfriend caught on fire. Horrifying! Almost as bad: The fact that Delgado says the dispatcher responded by LAUGHING at him!
No, really. "Her initial reaction was laugh and giggle in the background. It was very disturbing," said Delgado. Wow, I'll say.
A transcript of their conversation was reported by Tucson's KGUN 9 news station ...
911: 911 what is your emergency?
Caller: My car just kinda caught on fire, my girlfriend caught on fire 911: Is your girlfriend still on fire?
(laughter in background)
911: Ok. (chuckles) 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... Inaudible.
911: Ok, sir it wasn't regarding that ok.
Caller: Yeah, I just heard you laugh.
Ugh! I don't blame Delgado for being irate. Alright, sure, people probably prank call 911 way too often, and of course, that sets a precedent for some dispatchers to be skeptical about odd-sounding emergencies. But that's still no excuse for this kind of reaction. It's downright unprofessional, and as Delgado pointed out, a scary waste of time. There's no time for giggling when you're dealing with someone's life on the line! He even felt the need to call back several minutes later to make sure that his call was taken seriously ... Thankfully, it had been.
Apparently, authorities are well aware of what happened here and admit it's a problem. Capt. Jim Berry told KGUN:
We did not perform as I expect or the citizens of this county expect us to. We're going to correct that. Certainly I can understand why he was upset. I would be too.
Still, while Berry says the matter will be investigated (to see "what the laughter was about" -- heh), he also notes that what happened here is more of an "isolated incident" than anything else. Let's hope so, because laughter is just about the last thing you want to hear when you call 911.
Here's more coverage of the story ...
Can you believe this?! Would you be as angry as Delgado if this happened to you?