Tags: 911 | op | laughs | girlfriend | caught | fire

911 Operator Laughs as Man Reports His Girlfriend Caught Fire (Audio)

By Michael Mullins   |   Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 09:36 AM

A 911 Operator is heard laughing during a recent emergency phone call in Tucson, Ariz., in which a man called to report that his girlfriend caught fire while in their car.

After an apparent pause in the call, the operator comes back on and asks if the man's girlfriend is still on fire, to which the man replies "no."

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What follows is a soft chorus of laughs from others in the background, most likely fellow 911 operators, while the dispatcher fielding the call also appears to let out a chuckle while asking the caller, Lalo Delgado, if his vehicle was still on fire.

"It's hilarious, huh?" Delgado asks the operator, to which the dispatcher asks again if the vehicle remains on fire.

"I just heard you smirk... Yeah, I just heard you laugh," continues, prompting the operator to tell him that whatever he heard "wasn't regarding that, OK."

The recording, which was published on the local news station KGUN-TV, quickly went viral.

"You're calling for help, you shouldn't be laughed at," Delgado told KGUN-TV.

"Her initial reaction was [to] laugh and giggle in the background," Delgado told KGUN-TV. "It was very disturbing."

The Pima County Sheriff's Department, which oversees the 911 operators, is now investigating the incident.

"We did not perform as I expect or the citizens of this county expect us to," Capt. Jim Berry, a sheriff’s spokesman, told KGUN-TV. "We're going to correct that. Certainly I can understand why he was upset. I would be too."

Berry, describing it as an "isolated incident," insisted that the dispatcher's behavior did not affect the department's response time.

Delgado, however, did not agree with the police captain's assessment of the situation, saying authorities might have arrived at the scene sooner, "if she wasn't there playing around giggling and would have been right on it."

"One minute, two minutes, every minute counts man," Delgado added. "Hopefully the next person that calls 911 doesn't get laughed at."

The details of what caused the fire were not reported, and the victim is said to be recovering.

The 911 operator has reportedly been allowed to stay on as a dispatcher pending the sheriff department's investigation.

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