SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – There were many people who emerged as heroes during Wednesday’s severe weather; from law enforcement personnel to firefighters to utility crews, these people were out on the front lines making sure others were safe.
However, these weren’t the only heroes of the night. Working tirelessly behind the scenes to help these frontline workers were dispatchers.
A local emergency communications center is now recognizing some of these dispatchers for their efforts during a difficult moment.
“Mother Nature threw east-central Wisconsin a curve ball, and we wish to extend a high degree of praise to those who worked- both in the field… and to those who helped ‘behind the scene’, by answering phone calls and dispatching emergency responders,” wrote the Sheboygan County Emergency Communication Center.
During the storm, the Sheboygan County Emergency Communication Center reportedly received a ‘significant’ spike in call volume with over 650 calls coming in.
A timeline of those calls is as follows:
- 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.: 23 calls
- 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.: 318 calls
- 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.: 213 calls
- 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.: 46 calls
- 11 p.m. to 12 a.m.: 24 calls
- 12 a.m. to 1 a.m.: 20 calls
- 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.: 9 calls
Because the calls were coming in at such a high frequency, there was a moment during the night when the center had all eight of its dispatch consoles staffed.
Officials note that this is a significant amount as normally only five consoles are staffed during this time frame. Because of how hectic the night was, those working have now cleverly coined the night of the storm as “World War Tree!”
However, despite the chaos of the night, officials say these dispatchers rose to the challenge and were able to answer and process all incoming 911 calls in a timely manner.
The storms left nothing but destruction in their wake; trees and large branches were uprooted or snapped off landing on buildings, streets, and parked vehicles. Photos of damage left by the storms are available here.
In addition, power lines were also brought down, causing widespread outages that still remain several days later. To learn more about power outages affecting northeast Wisconsin residents, click here.
“We feel for all who suffered damage and loss, but are proud to be part of the team who rendered aid to those in need,” wrote the Sheboygan County Emergency Communication Center.