More problems for Pasco 911 Center

5:58 PM, Apr 11, 2007   |    comments
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New Port Richey, Florida -- There are several questions being raised about the people working at the Pasco Emergency 911 Center. 10 News has uncovered serious problems with personnel after investigating a woman's choking death.

As we told you in an earlier report, Nancy McGhee of Land O'Lakes eventually died after a 911 call was made, and questions are being raised. The 911 operator who took the call and a third of the operators weren't trained in emergency medical dispatch. She asked for help from her supervisor, David Cook, according to paperwork released by Pasco County.

Cook said he wouldn't talk to "a hysterical caller." Cook eventually took the phone, but after a brief conversation with the caller, Cook returned the phone to the operator.

And while the remaining 911 operators are now getting emergency medical dispatch training, the Pasco Fire Department maintains there was not a breakdown in procedure, just some bad decisions by some people.

But there appears to be an emergency at Pasco 911, where director Thomas O'Brien lists on his application that he has a Master's Degree. But it and his Bachelor's Degree are from an online diploma mill called Alameda University. The school admits on its web site that Almeda University degrees are not legal for academic or business use in Florida and seven other states.

The previous director, Larry Davis, had abruptly resigned, with no explanation ever given. And another emergency communications officer, Dan Dede, has been disciplined for three separate instances of insubordination.

David Cook has been disciplined in the past for sleeping on the job and reportedly said, "Another one bites the dust," and "I guess she bit off more than she could chew," when he learned the woman died. He has since applied for a pension will receive between somewhere between $10,000 and $14,000 a year from the state for the rest of his life.

The man that made the 911 call from the house where Nancy McGhee choked to death says he will contact his lawyer and take steps so something like this can never happen again.


Mike Deeson, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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