Officials say phantom calls are coming into 911 from T-Mobile phones, leading to long wait times and delays in emergency response. A babysitter for a six-month-old boy (who was having breathing problems) couldn't get through to a 911 operator after multiple attempts.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said it is encouraging that T-Mobile finally sent top engineers to Dallas. City officials have been bringing in additional staff on overtime to try to keep up with the call load.
"We will stay on this until it is full resolved", said Carey. On Saturday night alone, over 440 calls were placed on hold due to overwhelming volume, with callers experiencing hold times that averaged a whopping 38 minutes.
Mayor Rawlings said Wednesday that hundreds of "ghost calls" have jammed the city's 911 system for months.
The baby's mother, Bridget Alex, said, "When I came and picked up my son she [babysitter] was still on hold with 911".
Brandon's babysitter said the boy had fallen off a daybed and was barely breathing while she tried to reach 911.
Since the baby sitter did not have a vehicle to take Brandon to the hospital, his mother sped home and rushed him to Methodist Dallas Medical Center herself.
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T-Mobile, the third largest wireless network in the United States, is blamed for the death of an infant and adult male.
"On a personal note, that anybody that has been impacted by this, I'm sorry and we are going to do better in the future as a city", Rawlings said.
Operators are forced to call back every number that registers as a hang-up to verify whether emergency assistance is needed and, if no one answers, police will have to be dispatched to the scene. "That's what I want them to do", Alex told the Morning News.
Since late a year ago, hundreds of customers have been placed on hold when they called for emergency services. She said phone records indicate the first call at 5:55 p.m. lasted 51 seconds.
T-Mobile says it is trying to resolve the issue. Police are reportedly investigating whether the 911 problem led to the death. "It took me to lose my son for y'all to call extra people, extra techs to be here".
City officials had been working with T-Mobile daily in recent weeks, and the company had rolled out a software update two weeks ago aimed at reducing the problem.
'At the end of the day, I'm still going to be here hurt, because he's not going to be here, ' an emotional Alex told the station CBS DFW.