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Carroll County man dies after 911 mix-up

5:27 AM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. -- When facing a life or death situation, many people instinctively feel they have one option: call 911.

But what happens when 911 gets it wrong?

It happened last month in Carroll County. Authorities there are investigating an incident where a 911 operator sent emergency crews to an address in the wrong city.

On June 28, Reba Langley called 911 after her husband passed out in the driveway. On the recorded call, Mrs. Langley is heard telling the operator that 73-year-old Fred Langley had gone into a diabetic coma.

Mrs. Langley requested an ambulance to their home on Kathy Lane in Temple. The operator mistakenly sent crews to a Kathy Lane in Carrollton, nearly 12 miles away.

"Unfortunately, it is human error," Carroll County attorney Cynthia Daley said. "The operator is to take the information and then verify the information, and the first question that comes up from that is the cross street. And that wasn't done."

It took a second 911 call from Mrs. Langley for another dispatcher to realize the mistake. Daley said the mix-up caused a nine-minute delay.

There is no way to verify if that delay actually led to Mr. Langley's death.

The operator has since been fired. Daley said Carroll County is making sure all 911 operators are retrained answering calls to prevent a future mistake.

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