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An emergency dispatcher (not pictured) in Montgomery County, Md. was put on administrative leave and an inquiry launched after being recorded snoring during a woman’s desperate 911 call.

Segments of the April 4th recording can be heard in the report broadcast on Tuesday, in which a panicky woman calls to report that her husband is having trouble breathing. The initial 911 operator transfers her to a dispatcher, whose job it is to send an ambulance. But after the transfer, the woman is heard saying, “Hello? Hello? Hello?” and getting only silence in return.

The snoring sound of the dispatcher comes through just as the 911 operator contacts a second dispatcher, and it becomes louder as that dispatcher talks the woman through the emergency and gets her address. Just after the panicked woman says, “Now he’s all blue,” the snore erupts again, and several more times as the second dispatcher speaks to her.

Here’s part of the exchange:

2nd Dispatcher: “Put one hand on his forehand, the other hand underneath his neck and tilt his head back.”

Caller: “Yes.”

Sleeping Dispatcher: ((Snore))

Caller: “Uh huh.”

In the recording, the second dispatcher repeatedly asked if the woman’s husband was making the noise. Montgomery County Assistant Fire Chief Scott Graham confirmed to the reporters that the sound was in fact coming from the original dispatcher.


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