Connecticut dispatcher placed on leave as city probes response to fire that injured three firefighters

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  • Published: 10/02/2015 12:00 AM

A longtime emergency dispatcher is on paid administrative leave while city officials investigate whether her performance delayed the emergency response to a fire last month that left three firefighters injured, according to City Manager Lawrence J. Kendzior. Public safety officials are also reviewing operations at the city’s dispatch center, and have been meeting monthly since June to discuss concerns, Kendzior added. Dawn Lyons, one of 14 emergency dispatchers handling police, fire and medical calls in the city, was placed on paid administrative leave on Sept. 25, Kendzior said. She was hired 27 years ago, according to Personnel Director Caroline Beitman. On the morning of Sept. 22, Lyons was working when a fire broke out at 504 E. Main St., an apartment house. Three firefighters were treated for burns after the fire, and five residents were displaced. “The issue is whether her performance had any relationship to a delay in the fire department being able to respond to the fire and the injuries that occurred,” Kendzior said. Beitman and Detective Lt. Mark Walerysiak are reviewing Lyons’ actions. Lyons will remain on leave pending the review, which should be completed “fairly quickly,” according to Kendzior. Lyons and Brian Roller, president of the local union representing dispatchers in Meriden, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. Dispatchers in Meriden are represented by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 4, based in New Britain. “We are aware of (Lyons’) situation and providing union representation,” Council 4 spokesman Larry Dorman said Thursday, noting he couldn’t comment further.


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