CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (Nexstar Media Wire) — An Ohio man died after his desperate family called 911 – but no one picked up. Now they’re trying to figure out exactly what happened.
Last Thursday, just after 4 a.m., precious seconds turned into long minutes as a medical emergency left Vince Frusteri dying. His wife and another relative dialed 911, but they say Cuyahoga County dispatchers never answered.
“What’s going through my mind is, like, how can nobody answer 911?” said Cheryl Frusteri. “I was terrified. I was petrified. It’s 911 for Pete’s sake.”
Cheryl Frusteri finally called University Hospitals in Parma, and a recording shows the hospital alerted Parma police and paramedics.
A hospital worker said in a call to first responders, “She can’t get through to 911.”
Emergency crews scrambled to the home, but Frusteri died.
In fact, a police report shows a county dispatcher called the family back nearly two hours after the family had dialed 911.
Cuyahoga County released a statement saying, “An investigation is underway regarding this incident.”
The county blames the problem on the failure of a power distribution unit for the 911 center. The county also says a dispatcher quickly noticed the system went down and immediately called for a technician from the company that operates the 911 equipment.
But, the timeline released by the county shows it took 1 hour and 25 minutes to get county 911 calls transferred to working phone lines.
“I don’t know. I’m heartbroken. I don’t have words. My husband’s gone. He’s gone,” Cheryl said.
The county also wrote, “We are working with our vendors to address the problem so that it does not occur again, including additional redundancies (back-ups).”
But for this family, it is too late.
The county pointed out its 911 system is fully operational again. No word on whether or not this problem is tied in any way to other recent troubles for the same system.