Mayor Says 911 Call Wasn't Handled Properly

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

9It started last month with a call to 911, but now, one man is dead and another is charged with murder.

The Paintsville mayor says the call wasn't handled right.

The caller used a cell phone and because of that, the dispatchers didn't know where she was.

911 Call
Caller: 134 the head of Pickle Fork. They got guns and everything!
Dispatcher: 134?
Caller: Yes, it's an emergency! That guy's going to kill someone!

The caller was allegedly watching George Maynard attack a man outside his home.

The dispatcher tries to keep the caller on the line.

Another dispatcher calls a Sheriff's Deputy to respond, but he had little information and they couldn't reach the caller again on her cell phone.

Pickle Fork and Head of Pickle Fork are two different roads. The caller told the first dispatcher she was on the Head of Pickle Fork, but the second dispatcher sent the deputy to the other road.

The deputy never found the scene. The alleged victim, Timothy Ward, died several weeks later from his injuries.

“We didn't handle the call very well. Our dispatchers didn't,” Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter said.

Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter reprimanded the two dispatchers, saying the deputy didn't find the scene because they gave him the wrong address. Now he's making changes.

“We don't want it to ever happen that we drop the ball and cause someone to not get a call that might be lifesaving,” Mayor Porter said.

All dispatchers went through training sessions and Porter says they're reviewing all of their policies and procedures.

George Maynard was charged with murder last week.

Timothy Ward's family said they didn't want to comment on the 9-1-1 tapes at this time.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Barry Location: Pineville on Nov 23, 2007 at 05:40 PM
    Whether is was handle wrong or right, either location was so far out that I doubt an immediate response would have made any difference in life or death. He was "Beat senseless" as she put it while the call was in place. I believe the end result with Mr. Ward would have been the same.
  • by John on Nov 22, 2007 at 07:44 AM
    Why would get on a website and put someone down? Not man enough to say anything to someone in person. If you know them well enough to talk about them on the internet, shouldn't you be man enough to say something to them in person Benjamin. I went to high school with him to and yes he liked to joke but that was almost 11 years ago. Some people grow up.I think maybe the web admin for this site should watch the comments a little closer.
  • by Benjamin Location: Paintsville on Nov 21, 2007 at 07:29 PM
    Looks like the dispatchers finally got caught goofing up. I went to school with the male dispatcher and he was a joke in school now he finally has shown it to the world.
  • by Steve Location: Lexington on Nov 21, 2007 at 06:55 PM
    Spend the money on enhanced and phase-2 cell 9-1-1 systems, and this problem will never happen again because you will know where it is. Also, your GIS people should re-name some roads because you should never have two different roads with the same (or virtually the same) name. I do agree the call-taker did handle the call incorrectly by not taking the call more seriously, and by not correctly giving the Head of Pickle Fork as the caller stated. But if you've ever worked in a 9-1-1 center, it's noisy, there's lots of stuff going on, and it would be VERY easy to miss one word like that. If they had instant replay equipment, they would've been able to hear the entire call again after the caller disconnected to make sure they sent to the right location. So I think the system is as much to blame as the dispatcher.

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