ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A 911 dispatcher who told a 13-year-old girl to “stop whining” as her father lay dying in a hit-and-run crash on a Maryland highway no longer works for the fire department in Anne Arundel County.
Fire department spokesman Capt. Russ Davies said the dispatcher is no longer employed with the department. The dispatcher’s name was not released.
The Feb. 1 incident triggered an investigation after the dispatcher told the girl to stop whining. Officials initially said the dispatcher might return to answering 911 calls but could also face termination, depending on the outcome of the investigation.
The 911 call came in after a car hit 38-year-old Rick Warrick of Washington and his fiancée as they changed a tire along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
Warrick’s 13-year-old daughter was in the car with her younger brother and called 911. The teen gave the dispatcher information but struggled to remain calm. She pleaded with the dispatcher to “hurry up” and send help, but the operator said he needed the exact location of the crash. At one point, the dispatcher interrupts the girl.
“OK, let’s stop whining. Let’s stop whining, it’s hard to understand you,” he says.
The dispatcher sounds frustrated when the girl asks him to send help quickly. At one point he asks if there’s someone else he can talk to.
Warrick was killed in the crash. His fiancée, Julia Pearce, 28, was seriously injured.
After the incident, Davies told The Associated Press the dispatcher should have handled the call differently.
“911 dispatchers are trained to take control when they have a hysterical caller to focus them, but how (the dispatcher) proceeded to do that doesn’t meet our expectations of how that would occur, and we’re going to presume the public feels the same way,” Davies said. “That’s not how they expect to be treated when calling 911 in an emergency like that.”