A 911 dispatcher in Arkansas ranted about a woman stranded in a flood just before drowning.
The incident prompted Fort Smith, Arkansas police to apologize during storms and review their emergency response policies.
Debra 47-year-old Stevens delivered newspapers at 4:38 am on August 24, when her car was swept away by the flood and was stuck in a grove of trees in the lane, police said in Fort Smith.
Her call on 911 was answered by former dispatcher Donna Reneau, who worked her last shift as a 911 driver after resigning earlier this month, NBC subsidiary KARK reported.
During the call, Stevens Reneau explained that she was unable to get out of the car because she could not swim.
As the water continued to rise on Stevens' breast and covered her vehicle, she panicked and repeatedly said, "I'm going to die."
Reneau said to her, "You will not die" and "I do not know why you freak out."
At some point, the dispatcher told Stevens, "This will teach you not to go into the water next time … I do not understand how you did not see it, did you have to go over it exactly?"
Approximately Ten minutes after the call began, Stevens asked Reneau to pray with her.
"You go ahead and start praying, I'll listen to you, I will too," Reneau replied.
"Get me safely out of this water, dear father," Stevens said in her prayer and sobbed.
Reneau stayed with the call with Stevens for 25 min. At some point, the dispatcher Stevens said that the first responders also included other people Save before the flood and make many other emergency calls to attend.
The dispatcher also said that the emergency workers were trying to locate Stevens, "Ms. Debbie, you have to shut up. You must listen to me. "
When the first responders arrived at Stevens and removed them from their car at 6 am – about an hour and a half after calling 911 – she had drowned.
Danny Baker, chief of police Fort Smith, in a statement, said he was "broken for this tragic death."
"All our first responders who tried this," except Mrs. Stevens, is dismayed at the outcome, and for each of us it is important to live The core of who we are and why we do what we do If we fail, it hurts, "Baker said.
The police announced in a statement that they were" recording the call " with great restraint, as it "contains the sound of the last moments of a dying person" contains the interaction between it and the dispatcher.
"While the operator's reaction to this extremely tense and dynamic event is somewhat Hardy and indifferent, serious efforts have been made to find and rescue Mrs. Stevens, "the statement says.
"Firefighters and police units" were flooded with 911 calls from other citizens who were also stranded in a flood, "the statement said," and Stevens "had trouble describing their exact whereabouts, and floods limited the ability of the police Respondents reach them. "
" When the first responders were finally able to determine the location of Mrs. Stevens' vehicle, the rapid, ascending water made an immediate rescue impossible. "The statement said that Reneau KARK, who had resigned on August 9 and received the call during her last shift.
The police chief believes that among the given Everything was done to save Stevens, but he said the department had started "our policies, our reactions, un We're considering what we can do to improve our Dispatchers' training in rapid water rescue and other matters. "19659002] A Stevens sister-in-law told KARK that she was a lifelong Fort Smith resident who loved children and passionately worked for the elders in their church.
She described her as someone who would avoid her to help friends with medical appointments and even clean their homes.