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911 Dispatcher's Mix-Up Delays L.I. Heart Attack Response

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) -- A Hamptons woman said she fears confusion over her street address slowed down the response to her husband's fatal heart attack.


WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reports

Two weeks ago, Sherri Ross's 51-year-old husband Lanny died in front of her and her teenage daughter, CBS 2's Tony Aiello reported.

During her husband's heart attack, Ross called a 911 dispatcher in a panic, stating her home address as 419 Montauk Highway in Wainscott.

"I think my husband's dying," Ross said on the 911 call.

When the dispatcher entered the street address, however, four locations popped up.

Among the locations were the Ross's home at 419 Montauk Highway in Wainscott along with identical street addresses in East Hampton, Amagansett and Montauk.

The first ambulance was mistakenly dispatched to the address in East Hampton -- which turned out to be an empty lot.

The mistake caused a delay of several minutes and increased Ross's panic.

"My husband's dying. Why am I wasting my time talking to you," Ross yelled to the dispatcher on the 911 call.

On the recording, the dispatcher could be heard saying "Oh [expletive]" when she realized the ambulance was sent to the wrong location.

East Hampton Mayor Paul Rickenbach said the address confusion was inexcusable.

"We are already internally reviewing our protocols and procedures," Rickenbach said.

Ross also said she would fight to see the system fixed.

"Nobody should have to go through what my daughter and I went through that night," she said.

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