'In these situations, every second counts': Man calls for help, hears snoring 911 dispatcher instead

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Sunday, July 31, 2022
Man calls for help, hears snoring 911 dispatcher instead
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The person who called said he is concerned this could happen to someone else, someone perhaps in an even more critical situation.

HOUSTON, Texas -- A dispatcher in Houston allegedly fell asleep during the middle of a 911 call. The last thing anyone wants to hear in an emergency is snoring.

The person who called, Louis Gonzales, said he is concerned this could happen to someone else, someone perhaps in an even more critical situation.

"I was walking my dog around the block from my home and I came across a person that was in distress," Gonzales said.

That is when he called for help.

In the recording, you can hear the call taker snoring when the caller says, "Hello?" and then the call taker asks again, "Yes, Houston 911. Do you need medical, police, or fire?"

After Gonzales was transferred and reported the emergency, he asked to speak to a supervisor about the call taker seeming to fall asleep.

"In these situations, every second counts. So, I wanted to make sure that this wasn't a reoccurring problem and that they would take care of it," Gonzales said.

SEE ALSO: Houston Emergency Center employees working overtime to answer calls due to staff shortages

The Houston Emergency Center sent ABC13 the following statement:

HEC is investigating the allegation of a sleeping call taker while on a 911 call and working to conclude the investigation at which time appropriate personnel action(s) will be taken as indicated by the investigation.

In regards to HEC's shortage of call takers in general, this is a nationwide industry issue and HEC is not immune. HEC is making all efforts to ramp up recruitment and selection process to attract and train additional personnel.

WATCH: 'He was snoring': 911 call-taker heard sleeping under investigation

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