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I-Team Follow-up: Luzerne County Officials Release Statement On Questionable 911 Dispatch During Fatal Fire
By Andy Mehalshick
Luzerne County officials for the first time since a questionable 911 dispatch during a deadly fire in May released a statement on the investigation. 52 year old Michele Dzoch was killed in the fire at her home on Main Street in Mocanaqua and questions have remained about why 911 dispatcher sent firefighters to a non-existent fire some 15 miles away. The I-Team aired a recording of the initial 911 dispatch a day after the fire on May 15th which clearly showed the dispatch was incorrect. County officials released a statement Tuesday saying the error was caused by human error and not the 911 system. The statement read in part: "This investigation has revealed Luzerne County's 911 computer-aided dispatch and phone system was in proper working order at the time of the incident and also revealed that Luzerne County 911's established policies and procedures were not a factor in the events of May 15." It goes onto to read in part, "Since this incident took place, Luzerne County 911 has refocused the attention of 911 Supervisors and staff on training policies and procedures intended to prevent incidents such as this." Luzerne County Councilperson Kathy Dobash has been one of several on Count Council demanding answers. She told the I-Team, "We have to make sure that steps are taken to make sure this kind of thing never happens again. want to know what types of training or protocols have been put into place." Mike Lapinski lives next to the fire scene in Mocanaqua and added, "There was a twenty minute delay at least and I watched it unfold and it was all messed up."