Inside Little Rock 911 dispatch training | News
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -Friday, THV 11 learned more about the proper procedure of a 911 call and a little more about what went wrong the day a mother died and her 5-year-old son was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
THV learned if this initial call would have been entered into the 911 computer system correctly it would have automatically been transferred to Little Rock Police and Fire, dispatch. That transfer never happened, and it took 43 minutes to get help on the way to Cooper Orbit Road in west Little Rock.
The difference between life and death can come down to seconds.
"Training was successfully completed with that employee," said Laura Martin, Little Rock 911 Director.
Martin said that emergency operator and all others go through an 8-week training program along with a six month probation period. The recruits learn how to respond to different types of calls and get into the field.
"They actually ride with the fire department; they ride with the police department so that they can understand the importance of getting the necessary information to dispatch and those first responders," explained Martin.
Recruits also shadow senior call-takers, like Alan Cate, who's worked with the department for 35 years. Cate said multitasking is essential for 911 operators, and keeping calm, can help save lives.
"I want to make sure that I'm thinking of the questions to ask, but I'm not getting caught up in what the situation is," said Cates.
Martin said during the probation period, recruits are evaluated and some are let go if they can't cut it.
On Monday, by the time water rescue was called out, they had to travel 12 miles to get to the scene and they retrieved Jinglei Yi and her son in 12 minutes.
THV 11 does have a ray of hope to report in this tragedy. According to a family friend, the boy, 5-year-old Leo Yang is getting better, but has yet to wake up. Doctors said he is showing signs of improvement.