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911 Dispatcher: Red Flags Raised Before Botched Call

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — A union representative said workers tried warning Luzerne County officials about staffing issues and other problems at the 911 center, years before a botched dispatch that happened during a house fire back in May.

Luzerne County officials released a statement on Tuesday that said human error was to blame for firefighters being sent to the wrong community during the deadly fire, not technical problems with the dispatch or phone system.

Union Steward Robert Bomboy told Newswatch 16 that his report found that staffing levels, turnover, training, and other issues also contributed.

According to Bomboy, at least eight workers were involved in the incident, but only one dispatcher was suspended and another was fired.

“It’s a tragedy. We don’t want to see it happen,” said Bomboy. “The person [who was fired] is one of those people who truly cared, cares about their job to do it well, to the best of their abilities and it was an unfortunate mistake.”

A report posted on Luzerne County’s website identified the fired dispatcher as Debra Pac.

Luzerne County officials have not responded to the union’s claims, or said how many people are working at the 911 center in Hanover Township.

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