Woman dies after 911 call mix up

August 18, 2008 4:13:40 PM PDT
Lenora Trusdell owned and operated her antique store since the '70's. After closing Sunday she went to her nearby home and suddenly collapsed. She died of an apparent heart seizure, and now some concern swirls around a county police dispatcher's mistake, which delayed the ambulance arrival... anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes. Bucks County EMS Director John Dougherty tells Action News, "Police arrived 11 minutes after the initial dispatch. And then there was approximately 6 to 7 minutes between when they arrived and when the ambulance finally arrived."

When police first arrived at the correct address they began administering CPR and using a defibrillator. This as the police dispatcher then entered the wrong address into the system... sending the EMS towards a wrong location in the rural countryside.

"When you look on their screen it says York Road, cross street: Mountain Road. And she typed in Mountain Road instead of York Road," explained Dougherty.

By the time the dispatcher discovered her mistake and redirected the ambulance the county says at least 6 minutes were lost in which the EMS professionals could have dispensed some drugs trying to save Trusdell - something police are not permitted to do.

The dispatcher has been disciplined. 2 days off work without pay and retraining sessions mandatory. Official say it is impossible to determine if Trusdell's life could have been saved had there been no mistake by that dispatcher.

This incident occurred just over 6 months after dispatchers bungled a call and a 53-year-old Doylestown woman, Brenda Orr, died in a fire in her bedroom.

Lenor Trusdell's family is in shock and mourning. They refused comment today.

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