Family claims dispatch couldn’t decide on emergency response

Posted on: 10:18 pm, September 24, 2012, by , updated on: 10:23pm, September 24, 2012

911 confusion

NORMAN, Okla. — A family is upset after they claim 911 dispatchers couldn’t figure out who would respond to their medical emergency.

Sandy Bentley called for help when she found her elderly mother unconscious last week.

“I gave her the address and told them my mother was in a coma state,” Bentley said. “I needed an ambulance and she said I was not in the district, that it needed to be Newcastle. So we call them they say it was the wrong district it needed to be Norman.”

Bentley lives in a neighborhood near Highway 9.

Her address is listed in Norman but the home is right on the border of Norman, Goldsby and Newcastle.  

The home is also near the county line which divides Cleveland and McClain counties.

Bentley said the dispatchers were not sure who would respond to her home.  

Instead of waiting for an ambulance, she took her mom to a Newcastle fire station less than a mile away.

Newcastle city officials said Bentley’s home is not within the city limits but they did send an ambulance.

The ambulance was then re-routed to the fire station.

“There are a lot of cities that border each other and, from time to time, you’ll have a call that will come out on any given corner that may be mistaken for somebody else’s jurisdiction,” Assistant City Manager Kevin Self said.

Officials believe Bentley’s cell phone connected her with the wrong 911 dispatch center.  

In situations like this, officials try to connect callers with the correct dispatcher in their area.  

To avoid this problem, Self recommends making emergency calls from a landline.

“It is a life or death situation which my mother could have died on us,” Bentley said.

Bentley’s mother is now back home recovering.