MOULTRIE, Ga. — While Hurricane Michael raged two weeks ago, Colquitt County’s E911 team kept emergency response organized, getting law enforcement, EMS and others where they needed to be as the winds died down.
Dispatchers worked worked the phones all 38 hours of the storm, sleeping in the office, Director Theresa Warburg said. It was all part of their three-day plan for the hurricane.
As things calmed down here, supervisor director Amber Elrod and dispatcher Adriana Carlton volunteered to go to Early and Morgan counties to assist in operating their dispatch center.
“It’s our job,” said Carlton. “They also needed our help. It was bad down there. Not saying it wasn’t bad here but it was way worse, and I am glad we’re able to lend a helping hand.”
Elrod and Carlton were away for three days. After a well-deserved day off last Tuesday, they were back at work in Colquitt County on Wednesday.
Warburg is happy they were able to help the other counties and wants dispatch to get the recognition that they deserve.
“I am proud of the fact we were able to assist them,” said Warburg. “911 dispatches are (sometimes) left out of the conversation when recognition is given during disasters or major events and, I hope we can change that going forward.”
Warburg said many people have a misconception about dispatch that it’s just talking on the telephone.
“Nothing can be further from the truth,” she said. “We also dispatch everybody. People call 911 for little things, snake in the house, turtle in the road and so on. We take the calls and dispatch public safety which is fire, law, EMS, animal control, search and rescue. It’s more than answering phones.”