Emergency call operators – 911 dispatchers – are trained differently depending on where they work, but telling a caller to “deal with it yourself” and hanging up on her is not generally accepted protocol, says the Christian Science Monitor. So when 17-year-old Esperanza Quintero called 911 after her friend Jaydon Chavez-Silver, also 17, was shot at a party and got the “deal with it” response from an Albuquerque, N.M. Fire Department dispatcher, she was confused and upset. Quintero said she wished dispatcher Matthew Sanchez had stayed on the line to help calm her down as she waited for emergency services to arrive, rather than hanging up when she got frustrated and used an expletive.
New Mexico 911 dispatchers are required to take a 132-hour certification course through the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy. The course includes training in “rules for crisis listening” and ways dispatchers can manage their own stress in emergency situations. Trainees must also complete eight hours of simulated 911 call scenarios “while maintaining appropriate documentation and professionalism.” Sanchez was reassigned when officials learned of the call, and he resigned Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. On the recording of the call, obtained by AP, after Sanchez asks Quintero for the second time if Chavez-Silver is breathing, Quintero says, “He is barely breathing, how many times do I have to (expletive) tell you?” Sanchez responds, “OK, you know what ma’am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?”