Emergency Dispatcher Not The First To Be Fired Over 4-Minute Delay

Claire Gordon
emergency dispatcher fired delay
emergency dispatcher fired delay

An emergency dispatcher in Licking County, Ohio, is battling to get his job back after being fired in December over a four-minute delay in alerting firefighters to a burning home. Matt Wheeler did send firefighters to the home where a man was trapped inside, but apparently not fast enough for his employer, reports TV station WBNS in central Ohio.

It's stressful being on either side of a 911 call. Emergency dispatchers can't afford a five-minute daydream. A careless keystroke or a mental blip can end a person's life. While that didn't happen in this case, Wheeler already had three suspensions and two reprimands over his five-year career, so Licking County officials decided to fire him. His union, The Communications Workers of America, has filed a grievance on his behalf.