MGN Online

Published: Oct 10, 2013 7:57 AM EDT

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Officials are investigating after a misrouted 911 call left a man suffering an apparent heart attack waiting for almost 15 minutes.
    
The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/162aAaz ) reports that Ormond Beach Commissioner Bill Partington is raising questions about the Sept. 4 incident.
    
"It gives me a feeling that our residents are not safe," he said. "I've kind of thought about it, tried to understand it, but it's still unsettling, and I feel I need to raise the issue."
    
On Sept. 4, Bill Hill of New Smyrna Beach collapsed on a racquetball court at Nova Community Park. His friend, David Cromartie, called 911.
    
"We need some help," he told the 911 dispatcher. "We're at the Ormond Rec and one of our friends collapsed." He gave the cross streets near the recreation center, then corrected himself.
    
In an Ormond Beach recording, the dispatcher confirmed the address. But crews were sent to another address, where the South Ormond Neighborhood Center is located. That's about three miles from where Hill collapsed.
    
The dispatcher instructed Cromartie and his friends on conducting CPR.
    
About four minutes into the call, Cromartie asked if anyone was coming to help. The dispatcher asked for any landmarks to help pinpoint the location.
    
"The units are having trouble finding you," the dispatcher said.
    
By the 13-minute mark, sirens could be heard in the background. Finally, some 14 minutes after the call, crews arrived.
    
It was too late for Hill. Cromartie told the newspaper he isn't sure his friend could have been saved with a quicker response.
    
"He was gone pretty quick," he said. "I don't know if it would have made a difference.
    
Gary Davidson, of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, confirmed the events and the timeline. He said the dispatcher was a trainee and had oversight from another employee. He said there are 34 new hires in various stages of training at the communications center.
    
Records show dispatchers handle about 318,000 calls per year.
    
"I would estimate that in 99.9 percent of the calls, the public and media never hear about them because everything is handled correctly and in accordance with established policies and protocols," Davidson said.
    
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office took over 911 operations about two years ago. They're looking into the matter and working with Ormond Beach officials to make sure similar mix-ups don't happen again.
    
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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com

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