Local News


911 caller gets busy signal

Posted at 4:37 PM, Mar 18, 2016
Yet another situation where someone in critical condition couldn't get through to 911.
Contact 13's Darcy Spears continues to investigate help on hold. 
Long wait times and total system shut down: Critical concerns we've recently reported about the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's 911 system.
Just this week, a daughter gets a busy signal while her mother's life is on the line, raising the question; in this wireless world will calling 911 forever be a gamble?   
"So at that time I wasn't sure if she was going to live or die."
Cheron Turnley can't hold back tears as she talks about Wednesday morning. It was 2 a.m. and her mom was in trouble. 
"I went to her room and found her unconscious."
She grabbed her cell to call 911.
"And I called a few times and that's when I first got a busy signal."
"Who hears busy signal today?" Cheron's mom, Lynette asks. "2016. Come on! Really?"
Cheron didn't know what to do so she called her building's courtesy patrol. The clock was ticking, her mom helpless.
"I felt like I was alone -- like time stood still for a minute because I felt like, if you can't call 911, who's going to come? 
When a security officer arrived he tried to call too.
"And the line was still busy and so he was surprised too and was like, 'what?' And so he called 911 again."
Eventually he got through at 2:37 a.m., more than 30 minutes after Cheron says she made her first call. 
We reached out to LVMPD. They say they have no record of Cheron's first attempts.
They tell us the system was working fine, there was no high call volume, and a busy signal wouldn't come from them.  
Cheron and her mom say getting through to 911 was never a problem before. They're thankful medics got there in time to help.  
"Thank god I'm here!" says Cheron's mom. "It's over. The storm is over. Thank god! Hope it never happens again."
We also contacted Cheron's cell phone provider AT&T.  Via email they say, "We are currently looking into this issue and we'll share additional information when it is available."
If you've had a problem calling 911, we want to know about it.  Go to Darcy's Facebook page and share your story.