Jackson dispatchers receive 1,900 calls during wind storm

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – When a wind storm slammed the area Wednesday morning, calls flooded the Jackson County 911 Dispatch Center.

“Nearly 12 hours of sustained heavy winds causing damage, that’s really what was kind of the reckoning here,” said Jackson County Undersheriff Chris Kuhl.

A team of just five dispatchers worked for hours, taking countless reports of downed trees, sparking wires, and fires.

“Over a 24 hour period on March 8 we processed almost 1,900 phone calls into 911,” Kuhl said.

Kuhl says it was difficult at times for dispatchers to sift through all the reports.

“A problem that we have in a lot of these situations is duplicate reports. For every one situation, we usually get five or six calls,” Kuhl said.

During the wind storm, dispatchers sent out officers and firefighters to 800 calls across the county.

“That’s pretty significant, about four times greater than what we experience on a typical day,” Kuhl said.

Despite the tense situation, Kuhl says dispatchers stayed calm and helped get firefighters and utility crews to hard-hit areas.

The undersheriff says the county is going to review their response to the wind storm to see how they can improve service.

But for the time being, they’re applauding all the hard work done by everyone in the county.

“Our operators out there did an amazing job, our deputies on patrol that day responded to nearly 200 calls for service alone out of those 800, that’s all while serving the traditional needs of the community. So everyone did an amazing job,” Kuhl said.

The undersheriff says despite all those emergency calls, there were no major injuries reported in Jackson County.

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