False 911 Call

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Jackson County, FL -

A 911 call on Wednesday morning, September 29 set-off a chain of events that had Jackson County first responders scrambling.

"911, do you have an emergency?"

"Yes, yes ma'am, I'm at a wreck up here on Highway 71 North just inside Jackson County, it looks like a head-on collision, a bunch of people injured and they're going to need everybody out here, the cops..."

"Ok, stay, stay, stay with me, stay with me..."

The 40-second call prompted the dispatch of two ambulances, fire trucks and a helicopter to the area, but when they arrived, there was no crash.

Investigators say paramedic Wade Welle, 40, made the false call.

"I take it very serious."

Welle's alleged actions disappointed Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts, who says first responders are held to a higher standard.

"It could've been your family member that didn't have an ambulance nearby simply because the ambulance was tied up on something that never existed as far as the call goes."

Jackson County Fire Rescue Chief Tony Wesley would only say Welle has been suspended pending the investigation.

Welle, who lives in Baker, was an EMS shift commander in Okaloosa County from 1993 to 2007. County personnel records show he was dismissed after calling in fraudulent tramadol prescriptions for himself and his wife between January 2006 and August 2007. The records also say Welle was taking 12-24 of the painkillers each day as 'a pick me up.'

"Hopefully, he will learn his lesson from this."

Welle is facing a felony charge of misusing of the 911 system.


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