911 Dispatcher Under Fire for Hanging Up on Caller

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Albuquerque Fire Department will undergo more training after a dispatcher told a 911 caller trying to help a shooting victim who later died to “deal with it yourself.”

Fire Chief David Downey told reporters Wednesday that the department will start giving crisis intervention training to all firefighters and dispatchers next week.

A recording made public this week revealed that dispatcher Matthew Sanchez hung up on 17-year-old Esperanza Quintero, who was seeking help for a friend shot in June. Police say 17-year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver later died.

Officials said Sanchez was employed by the Albuquerque Fire Department for 10 years and was a firefighter before being assigned to a dispatcher job. It was unclear why the change was made.

Sanchez had sent an ambulance before hanging up, and it arrived within minutes. He resigned Tuesday, and efforts to reach him have been unsuccessful.