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March 2, 2021
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DISPATCH MISTAKE
(2007-02-02)
(wgvu) - A KENT COUNTY 911 DISPATCHER IS DISCIPLINED FOR A MISTAKE HE MADE WHILE HANDLING AN EMERGENCY CALL EARLIER THIS MONTH.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE SAYS THE DISPATCHER, SHAWN HOLTROP, INADVERTENTLY PUSHED THE WRONG NUMBER WHILE ATTEMPTING TO CALL THE GRAND RAPIDS FIRE DEPARTMENT ON JANUARY 18.
THE MISTAKE DELAYED PARAMEDICS' ARRIVAL, AND 57-YEAR-OLD DON BURCHFIELD DIED OF A HEART ATTACK A SHORT TIME LATER. THERE HAS BEEN NO CONCLUSION, HOWEVER, THAT THE DELAY WAS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR BURCHFIELD'S DEATH.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE RELEASE SAYS A DISCIPLINE HEARING EARLIER THIS WEEK RESULTED IN A 36-HOUR SUSPENSION AND IN ADDITION, HOLTROP - DESCRIBED AS HAVING AN UNBLEMISHED RECORD -- WILL UNDERGO ADDITIONAL TRAINING BEFORE RESUMING HIS DUTIES.
KENT COUNTY'S EMERGENCY SYSTEM, UNLIKE MOST COUNTIES WITH CENTRALIZED OPERATIONS, HAS 10 DISPATCH CENTERS, INCLUDING FIVE THAT DISPATCH MOST EMERGENCY CALLS. AND ALTHOUGH A NEW COUNTY DISPATCH AUTHORITY IS LOOKING AT AN UPGRADE AND CONSOLIDATION, IT'S LIKELY THAT SUCH A CHANGE IS SEVERAL YEARS IN THE FUTURE.









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