A 911 operator in Arizona is making headlines after she laughed when a man called to report that his girl had caught on fire.
Lalo Delgado and his girlfriend were on their way to Chiva Falls when they got into a freak accident, according to ABC Tucson affiliate KGUN. He called 911 to report that both his car and his girlfriend were on fire. To his shock, the dispatcher laughed as he described the situation.
"Her initial reaction was laugh and giggle in the background," he told KGUN. "It was very disturbing."
In an audio recording of the 911 call, the operator on the phone and an individual in the background can be heard laughing. When Delgado confronted her about her chuckling over his emergency, she claimed "it wasn't regarding that."
Pima County Sheriff Capt. Karl Woolridge told NBC Tucson's KVOA that, after an initial investigation, they determined the 911 operator's conduct was inappropriate and that she "had a momentary lapse in professionalism and decorum without question." Officials will conduct a further investigation on the matter, but the operator in question remains on the job.
It took four hours to get Delgado's girlfriend, who suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of her body, airlifted to the hospital. The Pima County Sheriff's Department told KVOA it took so long because the remote area where the two were stuck was difficult to access.
"The matter is under investigation," Woolridge said in an emailed statement to The Huffington Post Thursday evening. "We acknowledge the lapse in professionalism but in no way did it affect or impair the nature or speed of the response to this emergency."
Multiple Facebook users have expressed their views on the matter the department's Facebook page.
"THE 911 OPERATOR & EVERYONE WHO WAS LAUGHING when that poor man called in with his dangerous situation, should be fired!!" one commenter wrote. "Your department really finds it funny that a man's car AND girlfriend catch fire? How disgusting is that? Who is the troll running that department? All should be fired ASAP," another wrote.
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