Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in July 2015.
In a recent incident, a 911 dispatcher has resigned following accusations of hanging up on a distressed teenager who called for help after her friend was fatally shot. Esperanza Quintero, 17, expressed concerns about the dispatcher’s actions, leaving questions about the potential impact on the outcome for Jaydon Chavez-Silver.
The incident occurred during a party in Albuquerque where Quintero and Chavez-Silver, both 17, faced a sudden and tragic turn of events. As Quintero desperately called 911 for assistance, dispatcher Matthew Sanchez allegedly mishandled the call, prompting outrage and disappointment from those involved.
Quintero, recalling the chaotic moments, revealed that she had to take immediate action to stop her friend’s bleeding and perform CPR to keep him alive. In the midst of her panic, she reached out to emergency services, seeking help during this critical situation.
The 911 call captured Sanchez questioning Quintero about Chavez-Silver’s breathing. In a tense exchange, Quintero, emotionally distressed, responds, “He’s barely breathing. How many times do I have to [expletive deleted] tell you?” Shockingly, the call abruptly concludes with Sanchez telling Quintero to “deal with yourself.”
Despite officials stating that emergency services were en route, Quintero expressed disbelief and shock at the dispatcher’s handling of the call. She emphasized the expectation for 911 operators to provide calm and supportive assistance during distressing situations.
Quintero, while critical of Sanchez’s suitability for the role, extended an apology for any perceived attitude during the call. Her concern for the potential impact on Chavez-Silver’s fate adds another layer to the controversy surrounding the incident.
Sanchez, a 10-year veteran of the Albuquerque Fire Department, submitted his resignation following the public outcry. The incident raises questions about the conduct and preparedness of emergency responders to handle high-pressure situations effectively.
Chavez-Silver, a prominent high school athlete, tragically lost his life in the shooting. Despite the disturbing nature of the 911 call, his family expressed their appall at the recording but remains focused on seeking justice for their son’s death.
As the controversy unfolds, it underscores the importance of professionalism and empathy in emergency response roles. The incident prompts a broader discussion about the training and support provided to 911 dispatchers to ensure they can navigate critical situations with composure and efficiency.
While the dispatcher’s resignation addresses immediate concerns, it remains to be seen whether additional actions will be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. The community awaits further details on the investigation into the dispatcher’s actions and the steps taken to uphold the standards of emergency response services.