Family Sues KCMO Over Emergency Dispatch Fail

The family of a Kansas woman who died after collapsing at her home is suing the Kansas City, Missouri, police and fire departments, alleging 911 dispatchers took too long to send an ambulance after the woman’s 8-year-old son called for help.

Cathryn McClelland suffered a heart attack at her Prairie Village home in July 2019 while alone with her son and a baby daughter.

Her son, Joel, called 911 and gave dispatchers the family’s address within a minute, according to the lawsuit.

The call bounced to a Kansas City, Missouri, tower, which was closest the house, and then was sent to the city’s police and fire departments.

Dispatchers questioned if the boy was giving the correct address, in part because a software program showed a different location, KCTV reported.

Dispatchers eventually reached McClelland’s husband, who was out of state.

It took more than 10 minutes to dispatch an ambulance, according to the lawsuit.