County Official Calls for Investigation into 911 Center After Botched Call

HANOVER TOWNSHIP – A Luzerne County councilman is calling for an independent investigation into the operations and training at the 911 center, following a botched dispatch during a house fire that turned deadly last month.

Edd Brominski told Newswatch 16 that one Luzerne County employee has been fired and another has returned to work, after firefighters were dispatched to the wrong community for a reported house fire.

Authorities said Michelle Dzoch died in a fire on Main Street in Mocanaqua, which was sparked by children playing with a lighter.

Mike Lapinski told Newswatch 16 that he saw the fire last month from his nearby yard sale and he was surprised when firefighters did not immediately respond from the fire hall down the street.

“Everybody was wondering, but now we all know what happened. So you can’t really blame the fire department,” said Lapinski. “The whistle never went off.”

Some people who live in Mocanaqua said they were surprised to hear that someone was fired over the incident.

“I can understand him being corrected or reprimanded a little bit, but being fired is kind of going overboard,” said Harold Moss.

The president of the Hanover Township Crime Watch said she calls 911 with tips frequently, and said dispatchers have a thankless job.

“The amount of calls that they get is insane,” said Darlene Davis. “I don’t think it’s easy to blame one person. Maybe the whole system needs to be looked at. They may need more help. They may need more updated maps.”

The head of the Luzerne County 911 and a union representative said they could not comment on the discipline or botched dispatch last month.

3 comments

  • ME

    LMAO! They were suprised someone got fire!! They should be held to a high standard, what if it was a school shooting and every police officer got dispatched to the wrong school, sure, the woman should have had her lighter away from the children, sure it was stupid to run into a burning building if everyone was out..but the 911 operators and dispatch should know the difference between towns, cities, townships, etc.. I can see the wrong street or something, but a different town???

  • joke

    What an absoulute JOKE! I could understand if there was a legit accident, but that lady died because SHE went back in the HOUSE! Anyone with common sense would stay out of a burning building, NOT GO BACK IN! Not to mention their kids were playing with lighters which caused it!! Maybe someone should do an investigation on their parenting skills, and not the people who work endlessly to save thousands of lives EVERY YEAR!

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