|By Joan Whitely, Las Vegas
Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 23, 2010--The MGM Grand did phone 911 when a stagehand fell to his death a year ago, a hotel spokesman said Thursday, though the Metropolitan Police Department has no record of such a call.
Alan Feldman of the hotel's parent company, MGM Resorts International, said the hotel has an internal recording of a 911 phone call that its security office placed to summon help the night of May 20, 2009.
Officer Bill Cassell on Thursday verified the lack of a 911 record at the police department, but also gave an explanation that supports Feldman's assertion.
If a 911 caller immediately identifies the emergency as medical in nature, then the 911 center immediately hands off that call to the fire-medical dispatch office that serves Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Clark County. In such a case, the 911 center creates no record of the call.
Feldman said the hotel staff placed both a 911 and 311 call. Late Thursday, he was waiting for approval from a corporate attorney who was on the East Coast before releasing the audio to the Review-Journal.
Feldman said the hotel staff located the tape to remove the erroneous "inference that we had acted in such a way to avoid having police come" to the accident scene. The issue of whether 911 was called arose in Review-Journal stories published Tuesday and July 11 about the death of Vicente Rodriguez, 20.
The police department has a record of a 311, or nonemergency call, placed about a half-hour after the accident, in which a security officer for the MGM Grand said the injured Rodriguez had been taken to a hospital and that the state's safety agency had been summoned to start an accident investigation.
No police went to the scene of Rodriguez's fall, which was the Hollywood Theater inside the MGM Grand. But police do not routinely respond to nontraffic accidents if there is no suspicion of criminal activity, Cassell said.
Nevada Occupational Safety & Health Administration is responsible for investigating industrial accidents. It levied monetary penalties against both the hotel and its rigging subcontractor, Rhino Las Vegas, for creating unsafe work conditions.
Cassell said there are three ways for an emergency call to leave no 911 record: The caller dials the ambulance company directly; the caller dials the fire-medical dispatch directly; or the 911 center swiftly transfers the medical call.
The entities that do have the phone records to explain precisely how the emergency call arrived at the fire-medical dispatch center are American Medical Response, which is the private ambulance company involved, and the fire-medical dispatch center, which is housed in the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue headquarters downtown.
Marychris Rodriguez, mother of the young accident victim, said she recently filed requests with AMR and fire-medical dispatch for those records.
Contact reporter Joan Whitely at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0268.
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