A woman from Arkansas died from drowning due to the carelessness of the 911 dispatcher to send proper rescue units during a flash flood in the area of, Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The 47-year-old women named Debra Stevens drowned in the SUV due to flash floods even after she approached 911 dispatcher to help her out. But the dispatcher mocked Debra and frequently told her not to freak out and scream. Debra Stevens worked as a delivery women for the Southwest Times Record, and it was her daily duty route, but that day was unfortunate as she got struck with flash floods in her SUV.
Debra first reached her family members that she is onto big trouble, but upon realizing that it couldn’t help her, she called 911. The recently surfaced audio lasts about 20 minutes long, and one can hear out the continuous plead of Debra to send help. She told the dispatcher that she might be going to die and she even didn’t know how to swim. A dispatcher, Donna Reneau received the call and told her not to freak out;
“You’re not going to die. I don’t know why you’re freaking out. You freaking out is doing nothing but losing your oxygen in there. So calm down.”
Debra went on to mention that she didn’t realize she was going to drive into floodwaters; it was that, something happened unexpectedly. She even apologized and appealed to send help. Reneau, on the other hand, scolded Debra instead of making immediate arrangements to help her out.
Fifteen minutes passed in the call, the dispatcher wasn’t able to locate Debra’s location, and she told the rescue unit, Debra was freaking out. The horn was also dead in the car. Sometimes later, Reneau didn’t hear from Debra and call ended in 20 minutes. Even after an hour passed since the call was hung up, the first responders still were delusional to locate Debra.
The police department reported that the job for finding Debra was burdensome because many stranded people called at the same time and Debra wasn’t explaining her location properly. Police and authorities promised to provide better training for dispatchers and rescue units.