Mother of man who died during 911 outage urges Broward to update system

'(The 911 system) took my son. That's the way I feel,' she says

DAVIE, Fla. – On Monday, Charlie Yaw's mother made a plea for the 911 system in Broward County to be updated so what happened to her son last week won't happen again to anyone else.

"It's the end of all ends for me. This is it. This is the heartbreak of my life," Yaw's mother, Carol Wolff, said.

Wolff is grieving for her son and blames the 911 outage Friday for his death. 

"(The 911 system) took my son. That's the way I feel, and it should never happen to anybody again, please fix your technology," Wolff said.

The family said Yaw, 30, had a heart condition. He saw his cardiologist Thursday, but when his cousin went to check on him at 11 a.m., he was in bed and nonresponsive.

Family members started doing chest compressions, and dialing 911, but no one was able to get through.

"Everybody called," Wolff said. "The only way I got through was -- thank God -- the woman over there with the fire department husband, and she called them and they finally got through. That was an hour after I was working on him."

According to the county, incoming calls were not going into the call center, and it wasn't brought to the call center's attention until 12:05 p.m.


So, while Yaw's family was frantically trying to resuscitate him, their calls to emergency services were just ringing and ringing and ringing. Now Wolff is begging the county to update it's call centers, so it doesn't happen again.

"Put in some other kind of technology that will reroute the 911 system somewhere else so people like me don't have to bury their sons," she said.

There will be a memorial for Yaw Tuesday in Davie. His family said they have decided whether or they will file a lawsuit against the county.

Brett Bayag, director of communication technology for Broward County, said county officials are still investigating the issue. Bayag declined to comment specifically on Yaw's case. 

"It is too early to tell whether today’s 911 outage contributed to Mr. Yaw’s death," Alphonso Jefferson, assistant county administrator, said Friday.  "We are currently researching the timeline to see what actually occurred.  We owe it to the family to get them factual answers to their questions at this difficult time."

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