Grieving Dallas mom goes national on 911 crisis

Grieving mom goes national on 911 crisis

DALLAS - It's not every day that you go on national TV.

Bridget Alex came downtown just before noon Thursday to share her little boy's story.

“It's not about me,” she said. “It's about Brandon. At the end of the day, it's about Brandon.”

WFAA caught up with Bridget as she headed to interview with the Headline News Network to tell a national audience what happened to her son in Dallas.

Six-month-old Brandon Alex died Saturday after his babysitter was repeatedly put on hold with 911 -- the longest time at 31 minutes. It happened on a night when hundreds were left on hold.

“There's no excuse,” she said during the interview. “There's no excuse that T- Mobile can give me because my son is gone.”

The story of Brandon’s death went national one day after Mayor Mike Rawlings, City Manager T.C. Broadnax, and top T-Mobile officials publicly vowed to get to the bottom of ongoing issues.

In a statement issued Thursday, the City says that T-Mobile doesn't believe that Saturday’s 911 meltdown was related to T-Mobile’s earlier “ghost call problem,” which triggered spontaneous calls that register as 911 hang-ups.

“T-Mobile has clarified that the calls that were gathering in the queue were not ghost calls, but abandoned calls,” the statement says.

Officials say the issues that arose Saturday were caused by a combination of not having enough 911 call takers, an aging 911 infrastructure, and the inability of call takers to tell the difference between a “live” call or an “abandoned call," as well as network issues on T-Mobile side.

The statement says that the City is adding a dozen additional call takers per day.

“We are also pursuing [a] technology upgrade,” the City said. “To further assist the call takers, T-Mobile has made adjustments in its network to smooth the delivery of calls to 911.”

The statement also says that T-Mobile worked throughout the night and will have its team of engineers onsite for the next two weeks so that they can “monitor any potential issues that may surface in real time."

Still, Bridget says she wants to know why it took so long for T-Mobile to send its engineers to Dallas. They arrived in Dallas Wednesday, one day after News 8 broke the story of Brandon’s death and only after a call from the city manager.

“At the end of the day, I need T-Mobile to call me and let me know what they're going to do to fix this problem,” she said.

Bridget was at the funeral for her nephew when her friend, who was babysitting her son, called her saying that Brandon had fallen and she couldn’t get through to 911.

“She was on hold while my son was dying,” she said.

She said she was appreciative of the mayor's condolence call.

“He said he's going to get to the bottom of it and I believe he will,” she said.

Bridget will bury Brandon Monday in her hometown of Greenville.

“Why does it take for them to lose my son for them to get to the bottom of this? I don't understand,” she said through tears. “I just want my son. That's all, and I can't have him at the end of the day.”

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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