Wood Co. sheriff admits mistake in tornado response - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Wood Co. sheriff admits mistake in tornado response

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NORTH BALTIMORE, Ohio -

The 13abc I-team is looking into problems with the response to Sunday's tornado outbreak.  A North Baltimore family called 911 that night, saying its home was damaged.  But the fire department was not sent out there for another two hours.

That home is on Quarry Road near Liberty Hi Road in North Baltimore.

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn admits when the family called 911, his dispatcher should have sent North Baltimore firefighters. 

"No question we dropped the ball.  We should have immediately dispatched the fire department to go out and assess the damage on the house.  Absolutely we should have done that," said Sheriff Wasylyshyn. 

The sheriff says the home owner called and reported no injuries and that everyone was leaving the home.  The family wasn't sure what phone number they'd be close to, so they were told to call back. They never did.  

"The dispatcher realizes in hindsight, going through everything, she understands she did not handle the call properly," said Sheriff Wasylyshyn. 

The North Baltimore fire chief tells 13abc that someone saw the damage on Facebook and told a North Baltimore firefighter.  He told the firehouse crew and that's when they responded.  That response was almost 2 hours after the 911 call.

When firefighters located the family at another home, emergency crews did transport two kids for minor injuries.  The sheriff says if there is a bright side to this is the outcome didn't change because of the delayed response.  The dispatcher will face some discipline.

When asked what his department takes from this incident, Sheriff Wasylyshyn said:  "Training, we always stress that.  Certainly the dispatcher knew and knows that she did not handle the call correctly.  I don't know the answer to a storm when there are so many calls.  There are going to be mistakes.  We're human beings." 

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