Rogers County Man Frustrated With 911 System After Son-In-Law Dies

Tuesday, December 3rd 2013, 6:10 pm
By: Craig Day

During an emergency, you expect a 911 call to get you help quickly, but one recent emergency call got bounced around to five different dispatchers, delaying help that finally got there after more than half an hour.

When Luke Campbell's son-in-law Steve Bosserman, who'd been dealing with health issues since this past summer, was found unresponsive the day after Thanksgiving, Campbell called 911 for help.

His call from a home on South 4050 road in Rogers County, bounced around to five different dispatchers. Campbell has filed a complaint with the Rogers County Sheriff's Office.

Rogers County 911 administrator Janet Hamilton said, because a cell phone was used, the call went to the closest dispatch center, which in this case was Collinsville.

"She insisted we were in Washington County. I said, 'No, ma'am, we're not in Washington County,'" Campbell said.

The call to get help for Bosserman, a retired Marine who spoiled his six grandkids, then went from Washington County to Nowata County. Finally, Campbell called the Northwest Rogers County Fire non-emergency number, while another relative called Rogers County.

"Our normal response time to that area is less than eight minutes," said Oologah Talala EMS Director Kelly Deal said.

But, because of the confusion, Oologah Talala EMS wasn't contacted until 27 minutes after the initial 911 call.

Deal hopes a new Rogers County 911 center, under construction, with better equipment including cellular triangulation technology, will help prevent confusion in the future.

"[That] antiquated equipment, we're working to replace on our new 911 center, which will be opening next month. We hope that will alleviate some of these issues," Deal said.

In his heart, Luke Campbell doesn't think faster response time would have saved his son-in-law's life, but he worries delays might be the difference between life and death for someone else in the future.

"In a case where they'd be needing help in 10 minutes or something like that, they wouldn't have got it," Campbell said.

Funeral services for Bosserman will be held Wednesday morning in Owasso.