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Luzerne County 911 Dispatchers Raise Staffing Concerns In Fatal Fire Mistake
Robert Bomboy has been a Luzerne County 911 Dispatcher for 17 years and says a dispatching mistake made during a deadly fire in Mocanaqua in May was due in part to understaffing. Bomboy is an official with the union that represents 911 employees and conducted his own investigation into the dispatch delay during a fire on May 15th that killed 52 year old Michele Dzoch in Mocanaqua. 911 dispatched fire companies from the Conyngham Valley area near Hazleton to a nonexistent fire on Main Street in Conyngham instead of dispatching firefighters to the actual fire on Main Street in Mocanaqua in Conyngham Township. A dispatcher was fired and another suspended as a result of the dispatch error. County officials released a statement on Tuesday saying that the County's 911 system operated properly as did its policies and procedures but that the human error led to the dispatch mistake. Bomboy told Eyewitness News, "This is not an isolated incident. The history we have at 911 on other days with other calls show we have a problem with staffing. We want to work with county officials to come to a workable solution." 911 dispatchers raised staffing concerns in 2013 and spoke with the I-Team about those concerns. County officials did not return a call seeking comment as of this writing.