Marshall County 911 Supervisor Matt Pitney released a statement Thursday regarding the lost 911 call from the Culver Academy on October 15th.
Pitney said he was contacted by Culver Fire Chief Terry Wakefield on Sunday, October 16 concerning a 911 call of a fire at the academy the previous day and the lack of a dispatch from the County’s Central Dispatch System. Wakefield told Pitney a caterer had called 911 but the Culver Fire Department was not dispatched. Pitney told the fire chief he would look into the situation on Monday, October 17th, and get back to him.
The 911 Supervisor said he checked all the records including the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch), the recorded phone calls, and the 911 system. He determined that the call never came into the Marshall County Central Dispatch Center. He contacted Chief Wakefield on Monday, October 17th at 8:17 and told him they hadn’t received the 911 call.
Chief Wakefield told Pitney that the caterer called 911 and the security at the academy had talked to her. Pitney contacted Troy Heckaman at the academy, and he said the caterer told him she had talked to someone in 911. Heckaman said he had seen the 911 call on her cellphone with a date of October 15th at 1:50 p.m.
Supervisor Pitney said, “Due to the location of the call, a request was sent to the Fulton, Starke, and Pulaski County 911 centers to see if the call had been routed to one of them.” He said he contacted the Culver Fire Chief again on Tuesday, October 18th, and informed him of the research he was doing and let him know as soon as he had anything new.
Pitney said he received an email from the Culver Town Manager, Ginny Munroe late Monday, October 24th requesting an update. On Tuesday, October 25th he returned an email stating that both Fulton County and Starke County had not found any records and he didn’t have any other information at that time.
Pitney obtained the phone number of the person who allegedly made the phone call from Academy security and placed a trouble ticket with INDigital who handles the 911 system for the State of Indiana. He provided them with the phone number and on Thursday, October 27th INDigital responded and had located the call. Pitney said the call was routed to the Fulton County Dispatch Center due to the cell phone hitting off the Fulton County tower.
Fulton County Dispatch Director, Gail Karas dug into the matter and was able to locate the 911 call from the number provided by the caterer. Pitney was able to listen to the call the Karas and found that Fulton County answered the 911 call and no one was on the line. After staying on the line for a few moments attempting tog et someone to talk to them. The dispatcher disconnected and attempted to call the number back two times. No one answered the phone on either attempt. A TEXTTY text message was also sent but no answer was received.
Pitney said in his release, “Due to Fulton County Dispatch not being able to talk to anyone and not having a location for the call, no emergency services could be sent.”