Infant Dies After 911 Put Sitter on Hold for 31 Minutes

T-Mobile glitch plaguing 911 operators in Dallas since November
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2017 6:55 PM CDT
Infant Dies After 911 Put Sitter on Hold for 31 Minutes
Six-month-old Brandon died after his babysitter waited on hold with 911 for more than 30 minutes.   (GoFundMe)

A glitch that has been plaguing Dallas T-Mobile customers who call 911 since November may have contributed to the death of a 6-month-old boy Saturday, WFAA reports. For an unknown reason, when a T-Mobile customer calls 911 the system creates multiple "ghost calls" to 911 that register as hangups. Actual callers get put on hold while 911 operators play catch-up attempting to call back all the hangups. The glitch has apparently gotten worse in recent weeks. According to CBS DFW, Dallas wants its 911 operators to respond to calls within 10 seconds. On Saturday night, 442 911 callers were put on hold for an average of 38 minutes each. While 911 operators were frantically dealing with ghost calls, 6-month-old Brandon fell off a bed and wouldn't wake up.

"This hurts so bad," Brandon's mother tells WFAA. Bridget Alex left Brandon with a babysitter while she went to her nephew's funeral. After Brandon fell, the babysitter—who the Dallas Morning News reports didn't have a car—tried CPR and called 911. She waited on hold for 55 seconds and hung up. She still couldn't get through to an operator on the second try. On the third 911 call, the babysitter waited on hold for more than 30 minutes. Alex sped home and took Brandon to the hospital; he was pronounced dead nearly two hours after the first 911 call. Alex blames the city and T-Mobile for not getting the issue fixed back in November, but the city says there's no evidence the ghost calls contributed to Brandon's death. T-Mobile engineers arrived in Dallas Wednesday morning to try to fix the problem. (More 911 call stories.)

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