Larimer Sheriff admits 12 minute delay to dispatch Poudre Canyon Fire Protection Dist. for drownings

DENVER - The Larimer County Sheriff's Office, Poudre Fire Authority and Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District came together Friday afternoon to discuss their coordinated emergency response effort to the May 26 Poudre River drowning of a 14-year old boy and his uncle.

The meeting of agency heads was prompted by a CALL7 report, entitled "Documents prompt questions regarding response time to Poudre River drownings," based on documentation provided by the Poudre Fire Authority and Poudre Canyon Fire District. On Friday, CALL7 also obtained the "CAD," or computer aided dispatch log from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, which corroborated documentation from the other two agencies.

However, on Friday, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office explained the documents provided on both Wednesday and Friday contained a dispatch error. They asserted the 11:51 a.m. "alarm received" notation on the incident history reports and CAD logs occurred because a dispatcher started a separate dispatch and then deleted its contents.  

Larimer dispatch explained that a previous screen was up and time-stamped when the dispatcher got the water rescue call at 12:11 p.m., not 11:51 a.m.

"Once any key stroke is made on any part of that CAD screen the timer starts," explained  Larimer County Dispatcher, Diane Webber. "The timer started, she got busy doing other things … then the 9-1-1 line rings … and she starts putting the call in there."

"When we saw that computer aided dispatch log yesterday, when this story came out, we posed that same question, 'Why do we have this time?'" explained Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, whose agency was in charge of the incident response.

Based on Friday's new information, discovered by the Sheriff's Office on Thursday, the response times were approximately 20 minutes faster that originally reported. CALL7 learned our story may have helped the Larimer County Sheriff's Office identify a potential flaw in the way their dispatch computer logs calls.

The CAD log was not the only incorrect information provided to CALL7 by multiple agencies.

"We did have a glitch in communication between a couple dispatchers in our center … We did not get a timely page out to the Poudre Canyon Fire Department," admitted Larimer County dispatch.

This information contradicts Thursday's news release which stated that the Poudre Canyon Fire Department was "immediately dispatched." Poudre Canyon Fire Protection Department was only 2 miles from the incident and the district where the incident occurred.

"In this case I see nothing that got slipped in there with the exception of an 11 minute delay in paging out the one person who was able to show up for Poudre Canyon," said Smith.

Poudre Canyon Fire Protection Department also explained an additional error on documents they provided to CALL7 Investigators. Chief Collins admitted the time entry on the Poudre Canyon Fire Protection Department report was incorrect because of his typo. The incident report CALL7 showed you Thursday, indicated that the Poudre Canyon Fire Protection Department was dispatched at 12:55.

 

"That was a typing error on my part," said Collins. "As I was typing it in, I just typed a 5 instead of a 2."

On Friday, Collins said his unit was dispatched at 12:25. He also admitted that he estimated the "1:10" arrival in his original report, but said they arrived at 12:36.

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