Monsoon a busy time for 911 dispatchers

Monsoon a busy time for 911 dispatchers

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The monsoon makes for a flood of calls to 911 operators any time storms roll through.

Before first responders can rush to their next emergency, it's up to the 911 center to tell them where to go. Tucson News Now got a closer look at the behind-the-scenes work of men and women you turn to first during severe weather emergencies.

The entire center averages about 2,800 calls in a 24-hour period. But a monsoon, like Tucson has been experiencing, can shoot that total call number up to 4,000.

This is the only time of year when calls are put on hold to help prioritize the most urgent need. Officials said most of the calls during a storm are about a downed power line, power pole or tree. Despite the strain on staff with all the extra calls, the public is still encouraged to call in anything that could potentially hurt someone.

"We'd rather someone call and report an incident than to not report it at all. We do ask, and would love that people really consider is this an emergency situation or not. Anytime they're in question, or anytime they're not sure, they should call 911,” Deputy chief Sharon McDonough said.

The 911 center requests those who call 911 to stay on the line and in the area to give the first responders enough information to do their job.

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