Three recent winter storms brought a flurry of calls to Boone County 911 operators.
Joint communications records show operators handled nearly 6,500 calls during winter storms from January 31 through Februrary 6. Operators said the first storm was the worst because of icy conditions and multiple accidents.
911 operator Chuck Matalski said, â??We get hit with a wave of calls all at once. Until we can get it all sorted out, that probably causes the biggest stress levels and the highest concern for any supervisor trying to work through something like that.â??
Matalski has worked at the 911 center for 33 years. As a supervisor, he tries to make things run smoothly.
One of the biggest problems facing 911 operators during a winter storm is people reporting the same accident. Their phone lines get tied up with the same information and that delays calls for other emergencies.
Operators got dozens of calls for an accident on Interstate 70 near The Lake of Woods exit.
Matalski said, â??I think we had more officers out on the road during this last period. I think we had more ambulance services than we had in previous years. What Iâ??m trying to say is the more help you have out in the field and the more help you have in the room makes it easier to keep under control.â??
During the past 3 winter storms, there were more than 1,700 Boone County emergency calls, with more than 700 of those for accidents or stalled vehicles.