Dale County dispatch dispute drags on

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DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — County commissioners, Midland City EMS and Ozark-Dale County E-911 all came face-to-face to find out what happened behind the scenes during Dale County High School’s life-threatening situation.

Midland City EMS Coordinator Jeff Atkins originally told WDHN Midland City EMS was never contacted in response to the cardiac arrest call made from DCHS.

“They made the decision because they are emergency medical dispatchers,” Midland City EMS Coordinator Jeff Atkins said. “They have that ability to decide which company needs to go first.”

During Tuesday’s commission meeting, Ozark-Dale County E-911 said that was simply not true.

Ozark-Dale County E-911 released transcripts that showed one of the calls between Ozark and Midland City dispatchers that morning.

“We received the first call from Coach Moore that the student was having difficulty breathing and we transferred it to Midland City,” Ozark-Dale County E-911 Director Paula Simmons said.

After that initial call, Ozark dispatchers reportedly released the call to Midland City. Minutes later, Ozark dispatchers received yet another call from the high school.

“At 7:16, Coach Moore called back and said the student was not breathing,” Simmons said. “We called your dispatch again and she said I do not have a crew.”

According to Atkins, he was only working on the information he was given.

“Well we were told what our dispatch had done and it’s not what her dispatch had done so that just shows you the breakdown,” Atkins explained.

Despite who’s right or who’s wrong, communication obstacles are still present and in need of repair. WDHN will continue to investigate these issues.

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