It’s chilling, it’s tragic and it’s a story you’ll see on just one station. Hank uncovers a 911 call gone terribly wrong and reveals a terrifying situation that could happen to you and your family. How did it happen ? What can you do prevent it? Hank Investigates.
The call comes into Worcester 911–
"My boyfriend is upstairs and he won't wake up "
"Is he breathing?"
The caller gives an address–14 Cheyenne Drive.
Are you right by him?
But 14 Cheyenne Road in Worcester is what, pops up on the dispatcher's screen as her location–and that's where they send the ambulance–
In nine minutes — the paramedics pull up at 14 Cheyenne Road. But the puzzled rescue crew reports-they can't find anyone there in trouble!
"Ma'am? The fire department's saying they're at number 14 and it's a pink house.."
"No it's not, it's a–14 Cheyenne Drive it's a white house.
And only then-does the dispatcher ask the pivotal question.
Are you in Worcester, Ma'am?
No I'm in Hubbardston.
You're in Hubbardston?
So why were the EMTs sent to Worcester?!
"I think the phone company made a mistake…all right, we're gonna get a hold of Hubbardston for you, I want you to stay on the line."
It's inside this house–14 Cheyenne Drive in Hubbardston–where a terrified Erin Caron is watching her boyfriend, 40 year old Matt Pattelena, struggle to breathe.
Now, eleven minutes after Erin called 911—a Hubbardston ambulance is finally on the way to her house.
"Oh, he's not breathing any more..oh…
He's turning blue, please come, hurry..
Erin is now frantic.
Oh, Matthew please…
Oh, hurry hurry hurry!
TWENTY minutes after Erin's 911 call…the Hubbardston EMTs arrive.
Matt is raced to the hospital.. but it’s too late..and he's pronounced dead.
Karen Pattelena/victim's sister-in-law
"It's devastating to our family and I can't imagine anybody else going through this."
But they could, because of a glitch we found in the 911 system.
When you call 911 from a landline phone-the dispatcher's computer links that phone number with an address, so rescuers know instantly where you are.
Each local phone company is responsible for putting their customers info into the 911 system. But we found sometimes–they make mistakes.
According to Worcester officials, Erin's phone company linked her phone number to 14 Cheyenne Road in Worcester-not 14 Cheyenne Drive in Hubbardston.
Karen Pattelena/Victim's sister-in-law
There was such a delay, and we believe that him his life.
Worcester officials have now ordered supervisors to monitor 911 calls to make sure dispatchers ask callers their addresses–including the town they're in.
Karen Pattelena/Victim’s sister-in-law
"It's a two second question, that would save so many more lives."
If you're wondering if your address is listed properly, there is something you can do to check. Call your local phone company's business office and confirm your information–then you can avoid a problem if there's ever an emergency.
(Copyright (c) 2012 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)