Woman in burning bed placed on hold

February 22, 2008 9:36:28 AM PST
Several 911 dispatchers in Bucks County, Pennsylvania are being disciplined after a botched attempt for help.

A disabled woman called 911 as fire spread around her -- only to be placed on hold!

Operator: 911. Can you hold one second please?

Caller: I can't! This is an emergency! Bed on fire!

It took 25 seconds before another operator finally picked up Brenda Orr's call and ten of them weren't busy at the time.

Orr was bedridden with multiple sclerosis and couldn't get out of her burning bed by herself.

By t he time firefighters arrived, it was too late. She had died in the fire.

The 15-member dispatch stall was discipline but no one was fired. Authorities say the 25 second hold wouldn't have made any difference in saving the woman.


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