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911 Dispatcher Resigns After Hanging Up On Teen Helping Dying Friend

An Albuquerque Fire Department dispatcher allegedly failed to assist a distressed teenage girl who was calling to report that her friend had been shot at a party on June 26.

by VICE News
Jul 29 2015, 5:50pm

Photo via Flickr

The Albuquerque Fire Department dispatcher who in June allegedly failed to assist a distressed teen calling to report that her friend had been shot at a party resigned on Tuesday.

A redacted recording of the 911 call that took place on June 26 was released earlier on Tuesday, in which dispatcher Matthew Sanchez asks the caller multiple times if her friend, who has since been identified as 17-year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver, is able to breathe.

The caller says she is giving her friend CPR and that he is "barely" breathing. She can be heard saying, "Just stay with me, okay. There you go, good job Jaydon."

When Sanchez asks her again if Chavez-Silver is breathing, she replies, "He's barely breathing. How many times do I have to fucking tell you?"

It's at that point that Sanchez snaps, saying, "OK, you know what ma'am? You can deal with this yourself. I'm not going to deal with this, OK?" At that point the caller starts to beg him, saying, "No, my friend is dying," before the line cuts out.

Albuquerque Fire Department spokeswoman Melissa Romero said that an ambulance was dispatched to the location of the party in northeast Albuquerque before the call was disconnected. Paramedics arrived at the scene within four minutes and 26 seconds of being dispatched, which is "below the national average for dispatch time," Romero pointed out. Chavez-Silver was then transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

According to Romero, Sanchez worked at the Albuquerque Fire Department for 10 years. He had originally worked as a driver, and for the past three years and five months he had been assigned to the emergency dispatch center. Before he resigned Tuesday he had been placed on administrative reassignment, according to Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey.

Romero says that the department is unable to disclose any past complaints regarding his professional conduct.

New Mexico is ranked 49 for the quality of its emergency care system by America's Emergency Care Associations state-by-state report card. The National Emergency Number Association does set standards and protocols for how a dispatcher should respond to a 911 call.

Officials say an internal investigation has been launched. A statement from the Fire Department is due later Wednesday. 

Related: Brutal Albuquerque Homeless Murders Highlight Severe Police Mistrust

Photo via Flickr