Family frustrated by slow response
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 11:34
NORTH BALTIMORE — A rural North Baltimore woman is seeking answers as to why it took nearly two hours Sunday night for emergency crews to reach her family’s destroyed home on Quarry Road just west of Liberty Hi Road.
|Tye and Desirae Buchman stand in what used to be the back part of their home on Quarry Road. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the issue.
Desirae Buchman said this morning that she placed a 911 call shortly after the home collapsed around six people — three adults and three children — ages 2-9. Information from the Wood County Sheriff’s Office indicates they received the call at 5:34 p.m.
A synopsis of the call on the Sheriff’s Office log, which the Sentinel-Tribune receives daily, recorded that “tornado struck home; home is damaged” and “all are out of home caller stated they are leaving to friend’s house.”
The last statement was noted at 5:38 p.m. A deputy arrived at the scene at 7:18 p.m. and remained until 7:41 p.m.
One of the youngsters was eventually treated and released for cuts apparently caused by flying glass. The family has been staying with Buchman’s mother since Sunday night.
An emotional Buchman called the Sentinel-Tribune about 8 this morning, wanting to know why no one was aware of their plight, but even more upset that she has not been able to find out why it took so long for help to show up Sunday night.
“I’m not one of those people who like to call attention to themselves but nothing seemed to happen until a friend put something on Facebook,” Buchman said. “The fire department showed up about 7:45 and it was about 8:30 when an ambulance got here. We were at the ER at 9.”
Buchman said she told the 911 operator that everyone was out of the house and remembers running through the rain with debris still flying through the air. She would like to hear the 911 tape.
“I am aware of that,” said Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn this morning of the issue. “We are looking into that. We know that (Buchman) called. The lieutenant listened to the tape.”
Wasylyshyn said Buchman indicated there were no injuries and the occupants “were leaving to go to another location.”
“The woman was told by the dispatcher, call us when you get to where you’re going” and the Sheriff’s Office would send assistance.
He said that they did not receive a second call, but noted that a deputy was sent to the house.
“I know they didn’t ask me to call them back,” said Buchman. “They said they would send a deputy. They wanted me to wait at the house until a deputy got there.”
Of the entire episode, Wasylyshyn said “there was definitely a miscommunication there. We definitely should have sent the fire department out there right away.”
Wasylyshyn stated his understanding that the North Baltimore Fire Department wasn’t available at the time, and that Bloomdale Fire responded.
“That’s another thing we’re looking into,” he said.
North Baltimore Fire Chief Ted Francisco said this morning that the North Baltimore Fire Department was not paged out on the incident until sometime between 7:45 and 8 p.m. “I don’t know if the radio communication was down, they couldn’t page us or what.”
“I called the Sheriff’s Office to find out, I still haven’t heard back from them,” he said.
The Bloomdale Fire Department could not be reached this morning for comment.
“There was clearly some miscommunication there and we’re trying to figure out where the miscommunication was,” Wasylyshyn said of the incident, noting that they are listening to the tapes, and will be speaking with the dispatcher who handled the incident, who comes back on shift today.
“We’re hopefully going to find out more today,” he said.
Wood County Emergency Management Director Brad Gilbert said this morning that the National Weather Service did not investigate the site when they were in the area Monday. However, he said that he would work to put a visit of the Quarry Road location on his agenda for today to look into whether a tornado hit there.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if something popped down,” he said, noting the line of storms that struck Jerry City, among other area sites. “It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility.”
The Sentinel-Tribune provided Buchman’s telephone number to the Red Cross of Northwest Ohio, and she indicated the agency contacted her this morning.
(Story reported and written by Peter Kuebeck, Sentinel staff writer, and Hal Brown, city editor.)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 11:48