'What if it had been me?': Man tries Durham 911 call center three times -- all go unanswered

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh man tried to call 9-1-1 three times on his way into Durham Wednesday when he came upon a wreck but couldn't get through to anyone.

Josh Privette said he was headed to dinner on Highway 70 and saw a car stopped that had its airbags out so he knew the person needed medical attention.

He pulled over, checked with the driver who was conscious but still called 9-1-1 and tried three times but got no answers. He said someone on the scene thankfully had already called 9-1-1 and gotten through.

"When you dial 9-1-1 and you can't get anybody to pick up the phone, you're like 'Okay, what do I do?'" Privette said. "I'm not a trained paramedic, I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who rolled up on this."

Following the incident, the City of Durham is looking into the issue.

In May, Durham experienced major issues with its 9-1-1 center. People had called out sick and for a period there was no one working the communications center and all their calls had to be routed to Raleigh.

EMBED More News Videos

Due to lingering staffing issues over the past few months, 911 calls to the Durham Emergency Communications Center are sometimes routed to Raleigh.



"What if it had been me? What if had been my mom? What if it had been your family?" Privette said. "It's terrifying as a bystander if something had really been wrong."

Durham said its staffing levels were fine Wednesday so they're getting in touch with Privette to find the issue and a solution.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.