A Dallas 6-month-old died over the weekend after the child’s caretaker was unable to get through to 911. The Dallas Police Department is currently investigating the case, which may be linked to problems at the Dallas 911 center, which has been overwhelmed with “ghost calls.”
According to CBSDFW, T-Mobile crews were working yesterday to fix a major system issue that has been linked to the surplus of ghost calls. Mayor Mike Rawlings expressed frustration about the danger the situation poses for residents. Rawlings noted that anyone could run into trouble if there’s a surge in calls, but the odds are stacked against some cellphone customers.
“If you’ve got a T-Mobile phone service, be very, very careful because you may not be able to get into 911,” he said. “I want the problem solved immediately, and if it takes longer I want to know why.”
The city confirmed that ghost calls from T-Mobile phones were flooding emergency lines at the time of the boy’s death.
“He was only 6 months,” the boy’s mother, Bridget Alex, told the news station. “It wasn’t his time.”
Alex was at her nephew’s funeral when Brandon’s babysitter called to say that her son had fallen and would not wake up.
“I said, ‘Why couldn’t you call 911?’ She said, ‘I am calling 911. They are not answering their phones.’”
The city of Dallas confirmed that T-mobile phones were spontaneously dialing 911, an issue that has been occurring since November, clogging up the call center for hours at a time. At one point on Saturday, some 422 calls were on hold, the city noted.
The normal goal for the city is to answer 911 calls within 10 seconds, but on Saturday night, callers were waiting 30-40 minutes on average.
Brandon’s babysitter made three 911 calls but never got through.
“The last time she called, they had her on hold for 31 minutes,” the mother said. “I just want y’all to tell me, why didn’t you respond to my son? That’s all I want to know.”
The mother said she drove home to pick up her son and race him to the hospital, arriving at 7 p.m., about an hour after the babysitter’s first 911 call. By then, Brandon had stopped breathing, and within the hour he was pronounced dead by a doctor.
Alex says that the city of Dallas and T-Mobile are responsible for her son’s death for failing to fix the problem, and now it is too late.
“At the end of the day, I’m still going to be here hurt, because he’s not going to be here,” Alex said. “I’m not going to get to see him or smell him or touch him or kiss him ever again.”
Brandon’s cause of death has not yet been determined. The city said that there is no evidence so far that the delays in emergency response played a role in his death.