Texas man dies while wife is on hold with 911 for 15 minutes

An Austin, Texas man died of a heart attack while his wife desperately waited for 911 for 15 minutes.

Tanya Gotcher found her husband of nearly 30 years, Cassy, ​​on the floor of the home they shared and immediately dialed 911, suspecting he was having a heart attack.

Gotcher was put on hold for 15 to 20 minutes, she told CBS Austin. Her husband died while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, according to the station.

“The phone rings and rings and rings,” Gotcher said.

Her heartbreaking story was recently featured in a campaign ad for Travis County judge candidate Rupal Chaudhari. Cassy Gotcher had died in May.

“When you hear the phone ringing for 15 minutes and you can’t reach anyone to help you, that’s the worst nightmare you could have,” Gotcher said.

Cassy Gotcher died of a heart attack while his wife waited with 911.
Tanya Keute Gotcher/Facebook

Austin is suffering from a staff shortage at its 911 dispatch center, which is causing backlogs and delays in responding to emergency line callers.

Nearly half of the city’s 911 call center operator positions are vacant and 19 of 75 dispatcher positions are unfilled, Austin City Councilman Mackenzie Kelly told Fox News.

Austin residents who called 911 in October waited about two and a half minutes for their call to be answered, according to the outlet.

The city’s response time to 911 calls is far behind the national average. About 64% of calls to 911 in Austin were answered within 15 seconds, while the national standard is 90% of calls answered in the same time frame or less, Fox News reported.

Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the department has hired more people to fill the roles and is taking steps to address burnout and raise salaries, including with allowances and bonuses. .

The city of Austin also announced it would raise salaries for call takers and 911 dispatchers.

“The City of Austin plans to make wage adjustments leading to increased pay for some 911 callers and police dispatch personnel to address the wage squeeze resulting from the recent living wage increase. “, the city said in a statement.

“These efforts, combined with stipends and the development of a citywide recruitment campaign, support the retention of existing employees and are intended to help fill vacancies at the Department of Emergency Call Center. Austin Police.”

New York Post

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