911 dispatcher explains dealing with 'ghost calls'

After the recent deaths, including a six-month-old baby, the statistics may soon change.

CBS Dallas-Fort Worth spoke with Mayor Mike Rawlings about his frustration and the danger the situation poses for residents. City officials have been bringing in additional staff on overtime to try to keep up with the call load.

That night hundreds of 911 callers in the southern American city had been put on hold for an average of 38 minutes.

T-Mobile phones are reportedly spontaneously dialing 911, a recurring issue that's been happening since November.

In the time being, the city says if you do have to call 911 and are put on hold don't hang up.

Bridget Alex was attending her nephew's funeral on Saturday when the babysitter called to say her baby, named Brandon, fell and would not wake up.

Officials say engineers will examine how T-Mobile cellular technology and the city's 911 infrastructure interact with each other. She took the infant to the hospital, but it was too late to save him.

The spikes seem to vary in time and intensity, aren't consistent across all T-Mobile devices, and raise a host of other questions that make it hazy as to whether this is a technical glitch, a malicious prank, or something else entirely.

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"On a personal note, that anybody that has been impacted by this, I'm sorry and we are going to do better in the future as a city", Rawlings said.

David Taffet, a reporter for the LGBT publication The Dallas Voice wants answers this week after his call to 911 was handled incorrectly resulting in the service hanging up on him while his husband lay dying.

"The last time she called, they had her on hold for 31 minutes", Alex said.

T-Mobile vice president David Carey said that their team would stay on the ground in Dallas until the problem is identified and fixed. Each time, she hung up before an operator came on the line. The dispatcher then must call back in an attempt to clarify whether the caller has an actual emergency. I want to be at home playing with my son.

The issue is affecting one call center in Dallas, a T-Mobile spokesperson said Thursday. The Dallas Police Department and child protective services are investigating the death of Brandon.

He said he thought that they had resolved the issue back in January. After WFAA contacted the city about Brandon's death, Broadnax reached out directly to the CEO of T-Mobile.

"At the end of the day, I'm still going to be here hurt, because he's not going to be here", Alex said.

  • Sidney Guerrero