Kent County dispatchers fielding hundreds of calls during Arctic blast

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jan 29, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kent County dispatchers have been hard at work helping field calls to dozens of crashes throughout the week.

Late Tuesday night, Kent County had a dozen employees working at the Grand Rapids dispatch center, which takes in about two-thirds of the county’s calls. Earlier in the day, twice as many people were working to deal with an influx of calls.

“We thought we knew what to expect for today,” said Matt Groesser, emergency communications manager for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. "It ended up being a little more impactful than what we were expecting."

On Tuesday, dispatchers logged 355 incident reports from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., about 35 calls per hour -- more than double an average day.

Groesser says they are expecting more of the same Wednesday.

“We really don’t see major improvement until late Thursday afternoon, so supervisors are watching things on an hour-by-hour basis,” he said. "They’re ready to call in additional staff if we need to."