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Complaint about 911 call on Sunday leads to firing of call taker


A complaint about how a 911 call involving a medical emergency was handled on Sunday has led to the firing of the call taker, according to a spokesperson from the Office of the Erie County Executive.


The spokesperson said at a birthday party on Sunday a call was made to 911 about a medical emergency. Following the protocol, the call then went to the Medical Emergency Response System and according to the spokesperson, the call taker interacted inappropriately with the caller. The call was reviewed and an investigation began Monday. The call taker was terminated on Wednesday according to the county.


According to a report from The Buffalo News, the call came from a guest who was in attendance at a birthday party for Zaire Goodman. He was shot in the neck during the mass shooting at Tops and survived. The call was reportedly made when a guest suffered a heart-related medical emergency and needed assistance.


The News said Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin and Legislator Howard Johnson wrote a letter to Poloncarz to alert him of the call after they were made aware of it.


This incident is in addition to the dispatcher that was placed on administrative leave due to their actions during a 911 call from someone inside Tops during the mass shooting.


The spokesperson released the following statement:


As the County Executive made clear after the initial incident, there is no excuse for such behavior and it will not be tolerated; there is obviously a heightened sensitivity to such calls now and it’s more important than ever that call takers be professional, courteous, and as helpful as possible. I have not heard the call and don’t have any information on the individual who took it, but the message should be understood that accountability, transparency, compassion and efficiency in delivering assistance to people who need it is our goal for all employees.

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