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Ill. 911 dispatcher suspended after pond drowning

Published: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 11:24 p.m. CDT

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – A suburban Chicago 911 dispatcher was suspended for three days after authorities say she improperly handled a call from a man who drowned when his SUV plunged into an Arlington Heights retention pond.

Authorities say the dispatcher didn't review water rescue procedures a month before the July 25 crash because she was on vacation.

Transcripts of the call show the woman repeatedly trying to calm 89-year-old Henry Laseke, who was urging rescuers to hurry because his SUV was sinking.

She assured him help was on the way and asked for information about his vehicle. But the veteran dispatcher never asked if he could open a window or if he was able to escape.

A disciplinary note says the 15-year veteran also didn't enter proper codes into a computer system.

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