Virginia man dies after 911 call dismissed as pocket dial
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – A 911 dispatch centre in Virginia is under investigation after a man died when no one was sent out in response to his call.
WJLA-TV reports that 56-year-old Robert Paulus died of heart disease in late April in his Fredericksburg apartment. According to Robert Paulus’s son, Michael Paulus, his father called 911 hours before his death.
In the 18-second call to Fredericksburg City Dispatch, the dispatcher tried three times to make contact with Robert Paulus. After hearing nothing but an unidentifiable sound, the call was labeled a pocket call, where no call back is required.
Hours later, Robert Paulus was found dead.
Fredericksburg Police Department spokeswoman Sarah Kirkpatrick says the handling of the call “was an oversight.” Fredericksburg police are investigating the incident, which could change 911 policies.
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