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Caught on Tape: 911 Supervisor asleep on duty

8:23 AM, May 22, 2009   |    comments
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Video: Caught on Tape 911 Supervisor asleep on duty

Kathryn Hertzog-Debow

New Port Richey, Florida -- Welcome to Kathryn Hertzog- Debow's sleepy nap time; that's what you see on the video a source sent us of her sound asleep. The only problem is, while Hertzog-Debow is catching 40 winks, she could be putting people's lives in danger. 

Hertzog-Debow is a supervisor at Pasco 911.  She was caught on tape sleeping several times while working as a supervisor. Hertzog-Debow, who was disciplined in July for negligence, requested a voluntary demotion after the tape was sent to us and Commission Chairman Jack Mariano. 

Mariano says he saw the video and is unhappy with it. And while Pasco County was forced to take action once the video surfaced, former 911 dispatcher Mark Roscoe says he made the chief aware of the problem with the supervisor sleeping on duty when he left, back in March. 

Roscoe says the Chief told him they had not heard about it in the past, which he says is not true. According to Roscoe, the Chief said he would check into it.

The Assistant Pasco Fire Chief, Mike Ciccarello  admits Roscoe  made those charges. The department says it conducted an investigation but couldn't produce any documentation to prove it. 

Roscoe says he thinks it was being ignored. He says the department let a lot of things Hertzog-Debow do float.  

However, sleeping on the job seems to be the norm at Pasco 911. You may recall the investigation we did two years ago showing supervisor Dave Cook  asleep.  He resigned after our investigation.  

We also  discovered yet another supervisor, Jeanette Schmidt,  was given a two day suspension last month for discourtesy, immoral unlawful conduct and sleeping on the job... but  Mariano says there is no reason to worry.  

He says he thinks with the corrective action the county is taking the people can feel as if they are being taken care of. Those who called 911 on the nights supervisors were sleeping might think differently.

We tried contacting both supervisors, but they did not return our calls. When we first investigated Pasco Fire Rescue two years ago and uncovered a 911 problem that led to the death of a choking victim, fire chief Anthony Lopinto promised he would clean up the problems. The chief is on medical leave and clearly what is going  on in his department now, would make him even sicker... Meantime commissioner Pat Mulieri told me there needs to be  a further investigation.

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