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Nor Cal Propane Railcar Incident Handled by Lone Dispatcher

Date: 2011-09-03
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The Northern California city of Lincoln (pop. 42,819, in Placer County) only has a budget to staff a single on-duty dispatcher at all times. It was up to that dispatcher - veteran telecommunicator Teri Leedy - to handle a major emergency last month when a leaking propane railcar caught fire.  In addition to handling all of the incoming 9-1-1 calls, Leedy quickly notified the city’s police and fire departments, coordinated the response of surrounding agencies, and sent EMS units to treat a propane facility worker who injured by the initial explosion. The fire chief and interim police chief credited Leedy’s experience as one factor in the safe handling of the incident that forced the evacuation of 4,800 of the town’s residents over two days. Fire chief Dave Whitt added that the city should have at least two dispatchers on duty at all times, and that many 9-1-1 calls were never answered because Leedy was busy coordinating emergency units. 

See the full story at the Sacramento Bee here.

- People, Places & Things/ (via Dispatch Monthly, 9/3/11)


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