Babysitter Speaks About Failed Calls to 911 Before Infant Died - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Babysitter Speaks About Failed Calls to 911 Before Infant Died

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    A Dallas infant was laid to rest Monday, a week after his babysitter says she couldn't get through to 911. Dallas Police are still investigating whether the emergency call center glitch led to the death of 6-month-old Brandon Alex. (Published Monday, March 20, 2017)

    A Dallas infant was laid to rest Monday, a week after his babysitter says she couldn't get through to 911. Dallas police are still investigating whether the emergency call center glitch led to the death of 6-month-old Brandon Alex.

    Michaelle Cohen says her desperate calls for help to the the Dallas 911 call center went unanswered for 40 minutes. She says she didn't have a car and no way to drive her godson to the emergency room. She feels if paramedics had been dispatched in a timely fashion, Brandon would be alive today. The infant was just learning to crawl and had a priceless smile.

    While in the care of his godmother on March 11, he went down for a nap, fell off the bed and Cohen says she knew something wasn't right.

    "He was breathing but he really wasn't breathing heavy. It was real light, so I was trying to wake him up," Cohen told NBC 5 over the phone. She explained how she frantically called 911 over and over again but no one answered.

    "I was extremely frustrated because I didn't understand why no one was answering," said Cohen.

    "I didn't want to keep hanging up and calling back because that didn't make since, because I figured I was losing my place in whatever queues," she said.

    But Cohen's calls went unanswered because of a logjam caused by 911 hang-ups that day. Dallas city officials also cite under-staffing in the 911 call center that they are working to correct.

    Regardless of the reason, Cohen feels her godson would be here today had someone been there to answer to her emergency.

    The City of Dallas says its goal is to answer 90 percent of its calls for service within 10 seconds and fell below that target this past weekend because nearly a quarter of staff members called in sick. The city says it's still working with cell phone carriers to improve calls for service.

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