Plan in place to get 911 dispatchers to work safely in Wintry weather


As most of us remained warm and cozy inside our homes first responders, especially 911 operators, still have to work in the snowy-icy conditions. 

What about “their” safety? 

Huntsville Fire and Rescue has a fix for this.

In challenging weather conditions firefighters, officers and paramedics take on Mother Nature.

It comes with the territory and is job they do to help keep the rest of us safe.

When snow and ice make roadways dangerous duty still calls.
What about the folks who answer those calls, the 911 operators who play the role of the middle man.

Capt. Frank McKenzie with Huntsville Fire & Rescue said, “They have to come in. We have to have someone there to answer their calls. There are all kinds of divisions, HEMSI, police, there’s fire.”

With the Fire Department, staff is in place, ready to respond to the call of picking up operators and getting them into the 911 center on Oakwood.

“We actually have some of our guys designated that we go out and make sure that we can our fire operators in there so that they can take those emergency calls,” said McKenzie. 

Tuesday night a couple of dispatchers needed a lift as roads deteriorated.

They receive transports from home to work and from work to home again. 

McKenzie said, “We want to make sure people are safe and everybody has to have breaks and we want to get fresh people in there.” 

Regardless of whether it’s rain, sleet or snow someone is responsible for answering 911 calls. 

“We have to have people there that will be able to dispatch us out along with the police and emergency medical workers also,” said McKenzie. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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