When WCCO-TV first exposed 911 calls going unanswered in Minneapolis, the city told us there wasn’t a problem. Leaders pointed to an average answer time of around 8 seconds, as proof the system is working. But when we obtained call records after weeks of asking, we found certain times of day had much longer waits.
Minneapolis city leaders are asking questions after a WCCO-TV investigation found 911 calls going unanswered for minutes at a time.
Rules are changing at Minneapolis’s 911 center after a WCCO Investigation found some callers waiting minutes to get through. Raymond Callihan’s wife tried twice to reach an operator last week when her husband suffered a heart attack. Her second call took more than two minutes to answer. Callihan died Thursday morning. City leaders Thursday expressed sympathy for his family. But operators at the 911 center worry others may not get help as quickly as they should, and they’re asking for more staff.
Pictures in a north Minneapolis dining room show the bright smile of 72-year-old Raymond Callihan, a man who loved nothing more than spending time with his large family. “My father was a wonderful person,” said daughter Kamie Reed. “He would help anyone.” But that happiness has been replaced by hurt now that Reed and her mother, Arcola Tullis, know there won’t be any more memories like them.
For some people, it could be the most important phone call they will ever make but in a WCCO investigation, some 911 operators and dispatchers in Minneapolis said they’re in the middle of an emergency of their own.