There are few careers more imperative than that of a 911 dispatcher. These are the people we trust to be on the ball at all times, as they are the ones we call first when emergencies arise. However, when one dispatcher in Cleveland answered a 911 phone call, she was recorded doing the unthinkable as noise on the line just seconds after she answered exposed what she was really doing.
After answering a 911 call, Cleveland police dispatcher Jasmin Thomas immediately feel asleep on the person on the other end of the line and could be heard snoring into the telephone. “Cleveland 911, what is your emergency? Do you need police, fire, or EMS?” Thomas can be heard saying on a recording of the call. Just five seconds later, loud snores can be heard coming from her end of the line.
Audio recordings also show that Thomas took ten seconds to answer one call and then 40 seconds to transfer the caller to firefighters about a burning stove.
Photos of Thomas, which appear to have been taken on several different occasions, show her asleep behind her desk. [Source: Daily Mail]
Cleveland Police Union President Steve Loomis rationalized Thomas’ offense by saying that she is a single mother who works long hours and also goes to school. “Not excuses, but the reality is that she’s a single mom,” said Loomis. “She’s going to college full-time, and she’s working 40, 50, sometimes 60 hours a week up there.”
While it’s easy to sympathize with an exhausted, hard-working parent, Thomas’ circumstances are not the fault of the person on the other end of her telephone line, who desperately needs the attention of their dispatcher. It isn’t their fault that she has children out of wedlock, it isn’t their fault that she has chosen to go back to school later in life, and it isn’t their fault that she has chosen to work so many hours. However, it is her fault when her unprofessional behavior leads to someone failing to get the help they need in a timely manner.
While the police department suspended the dispatcher, discipline papers show she had been warned before about sleeping on duty. Records show she plead no contest to the internal charges. [Source: Fox 8 Cleveland]
The fact that all this egregious offense earned Jasmin Thomas was a suspension is quite concerning. She is lucky that no one died due to her overwhelming negligence, and she should not be given the opportunity to make the same mistake again. Truly, firing her should have been the immediate decision of her supervisors.