An incident occurred in Kansas’ largest city; the family of 22-year-old Paoly Bedeski, who lost her life in an apartment fire, is pointing fingers at the local 911 dispatch center, citing systemic issues.
The revelations have prompted the local firefighters union to demand an independent investigation into the dispatch center’s alleged mistakes that may have cost Bedeski her life.
The Fatal Dispatch
The dispatch center in Sedgwick County, where Wichita is located, is under scrutiny for critical errors during the tragic incident. Bedeski’s family claims that the center failed to relay the correct apartment number to firefighters and waited an agonizing 17 minutes before sounding a second alarm to bring additional crews to the scene.
Bedeski had called 911 in desperation just before 4 a.m. on October 13, reporting that her apartment was engulfed in flames. Shedding light on what they describe as significant and devastating errors, the local firefighters union held a news conference detailing the dispatch center’s missteps.
President Ted Bush publicly expressed that these mistakes resulted in delayed response times and hindered Bedeski’s rescue. The Sedgwick County Commission also supports the call for an independent review of the incident.
In a statement released through their lawyer, Bedeski’s family emphasized the gravity of the dispatch center’s failures, asserting that these errors ultimately cost Paoly her life.
The family is now calling for immediate correction of the alleged systemic issues within the dispatch center and accountability for those responsible. They stress the importance of ensuring the safety and protection of the county’s residents.
Kansas 911 Director Cites Communication Challenges in Tragic Call
Elora Forshee, director of Sedgwick County Emergency Communications, claimed that Bedeski’s initial call was not clear enough for the dispatcher to comprehend the severity of the situation.
Audio from the call, made available online, revealed difficulties in understanding Bedeski’s terrified voice.
However, she provided her apartment complex’s name and number before her voice became inaudible. As county officials gather information for an advisory board review, the Sedgwick County Commission has acknowledged the need for an independent investigation.
The dispatch center has reportedly addressed the delay in sounding a second alarm with additional training measures.
The incident has ignited a broader conversation about the importance of transparent investigations, accountability, and continuous improvement in emergency response systems to prevent future tragedies.