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Community Safety

Thousands More Calls for Service Placed After Recent Inclement Weather

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Last month’s flooding combined with the recent wintry mix that blanketed southwest Missouri have resulted in a spike in 911 calls over the past several weeks.

That’s according to the Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications office. In a news release, Director Zim Schwartze said that the flooding on Dec. 26 resulted in a 155 percent increase in calls for help.

“The following day saw an increase again of 86 percent of 911 calls as well as the total calls into the Operations Room up 60 percent. Overall, the telecommunicators dispatched 120 water rescues and a total of nearly 2,400 calls for service to the 22 police and fire agencies in Greene County during these two days."

The sleet and ice to fall on Jan. 19 resulted in more than 1,800 phone interactions and 1,100 calls for service to first responders.

"These types of numbers are similar to what occurred during the start of the extreme ice storm of 2007, which was a longer ice storm event than last week," Schwartze said. "We knew the weather events were coming, but it still impacted our area quickly in both events. I'm very proud of our telecommunicators and the large volume of calls they handled and the numerous citizens they helped during this time."

The emergency communications office offers some reminders to keep in mind during weather events.

• Do not drive around barricades or onto streets/areas that are roped off, as this can be very dangerous and potentially fatal.
• Do not drive into water over the roadway during flooding as you do not know how deep it is and if parts of the roadway have washed away.
• If a vehicle is on the side of the road and has yellow police caution tape on the antenna or around it, the vehicle has been checked and there is no need to call it in.
• Response by police, fire and EMS personnel are delayed during severe weather events as it is difficult for them to move around the city and county as well.
• Remain as calm as possible and be ready to provide your location and reason you are calling.
• 911 should be used only when a response is needed from police, fire, or emergency medical services personnel.

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