The morning of March 4, 2011 turned out to bring freezing rain with a quick temperature drop and proved to be a challenging time for morning commuters.
We had up to 29 active calls for assistance on the dispatch screen at one time all relating to the bad weather conditions. These ranged from car crashes without injuries, crashes with injuries, vehicles off the road and expressway. More than 22 active calls on average remained on the screen throughout the morning.
The freezing rain began right around 7am and the resulting mess continued past 9am. All five of our dispatch positions were manned, including a sixth position in a small office just off the main dispatch room. In there, personnel manned a portable radio to monitor EMS traffic, taking the pressure off the other three radio positions.
The numerous amount of injuries resulted in a situation where ambulances from neighboring counties were called in to aid travelers who had been hurt. Lapeer County EMS had called in extra staff for all their stations and headed out with more ambulance rigs as well.
Several fire departments were dispatched to assist with crashes and wires down. Medical first responder teams were dispatched in many areas to aid EMS crews for injured people. All available police officers and Sheriff’s deputies were out helping clear up crashes and directing traffic at these scenes.