Emergency Responders Brace for Flood of Calls - WSPA.com

Emergency Responders Brace for Flood of Calls

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Greenville County EMS Training Coordinator Aaron Dix said the call volume most of Wednesday was surprisingly moderate, but dispatchers expect calls to start flooding in Wednesday night through Thursday. Greenville County EMS Training Coordinator Aaron Dix said the call volume most of Wednesday was surprisingly moderate, but dispatchers expect calls to start flooding in Wednesday night through Thursday.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

It’s all hands on deck for emergency responders throughout the Upstate.

Greenville County EMS Training Coordinator Aaron Dix said the call volume most of Wednesday was surprisingly moderate, but dispatchers expect calls to start flooding in Wednesday night through Thursday.

He chalks up Wednesday’s low call volume to people having that snow and ice the Upstate got two weeks ago – and all the car wrecks that caused -- fresh in their memories.

The Greenville Co. EMS Communication Center got 86 emergency calls in two hours on that day. That’s about 75 percent of what they usually get in a 12-hour period.

Dix said they’re using lessons learned from two weeks ago to keep you safer this time around.

“We’re able to look back at the storms that we handled, especially two weeks ago, to try to find out where our volume would flex, the number one types of calls, and problems that we encountered. So we got our chains on much faster, we doubled up personnel in our supervisory vehicles,” said Dix.

Many dispatchers and emergency responders have been at work since Tuesday and plan to stay snowed in there until the storm is over.

Dix said dispatchers and paramedics are prepared for a long week.

“We’re used to extended shifts. We’re used to working in adverse conditions. This is what we do. It’s nice that the storms in South Carolina do not come back, to back, to back like they can do in other states, so we have time to recover,” said Dix.

Dix said the worse the weather gets, the harder it is for ambulances to get to calls. Paramedics have to walk great distances with some patients to get them into ambulances because the roads were too dangerous to safely drive closer to them.

The snow chains hooked up around the ambulances’ tires slow them down too. They can’t go any faster than 30 miles an hour when the chains are attached.

Greenville Co. EMS dispatchers have a digital map on the wall that allows them to pinpoint where the call came from and where the ambulance is at any time. That helps prevent the ambulance from getting lost on its way to you, especially when snow is covering up street signs and house numbers.

Greenville City Public Works is using some new technology for the first time at its emergency operations center for snow and ice removal. It’s a digital map that shows where the snow plows are and where they’ve already been.

“We have GPS tracking systems on each one of our plows so we can tell exactly where they’re at, what street they just completed, and what is the next street for them to work on,” said Greenville City Public Works Director Mike Murphy.

You can help prevent emergency response times from slowing down by knowing who to call. If you’re in an accident and hurt, call 911. If you’re in a car crash and you’re not hurt, call *HP for highway patrol. You can call 211 for United Way to help you found out basic information like where you can find food and shelter.

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