The city of Dallas is trying to find a fix for what it calls a life-threatening problem that is forcing some 911 callers to wait on hold for extended periods, the Dallas Morning News reports. At one point Monday night, more than 360 people were in the queue waiting to speak with 911 call takers. One of the hundreds who experienced an extended wait is state Rep. Helen Giddings, who dialed 911 to get help for a friend who passed out after being discharged from the hospital after an operation, WFAA-TV reports.
Giddings was on hold for 26 minutes before she got an answer, the station reported. “I just couldn’t believe it happened,” she said. “It was like something from a movie.” The problem, which the city has called a “ghost call” issue, has been occurring since November. When someone calls 911, their phone dials multiple times and the calls register as hang-ups, the city said. The problem forces operators to call back every number that registers as a hang-up to verify whether emergency assistance is needed. T-Mobile is the only carrier experiencing the ghost calls. “This is unacceptable,” said City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “We will continue putting pressure on T-Mobile on a daily basis until they solve this problem before this issue results in a life being lost because we could not respond to a call in time.”