TFD: 3,000 calls in three hours during storm

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Reported by: Price McKeon
Updated: 7/25/2013 9:10 am Published: 7/24/2013 11:55 pm

Tulsa Fire Department spokesperson said dispatch received 3,000 calls in three hours during Tuesday night’s storm.

FOX23 was at a press conference Tuesday when Deputy Chief Scotty Clark said resources were down to zero at points during the storm.
Tulsa Fire Department spokesperson Stan May said, “For about a three-hour time period last night, we had more calls than we could actually handle at the 911 center.”

May said the call center got more calls in those few hours than just one average day. He told FOX23’s Price McKeon dispatch usually receives 16,000 calls each week.

May said less than a dozen dispatchers took the calls, prioritized them, and dispatched responders.

May said, “Power lines on a house, house fires, power lines across streets, we’d take care of all of those first before we’d start dealing with the smaller incidents.”

All 40 fire engines from all Tulsa Fire Department stations had their lights flashing and were out of the station during the storm Tuesday night, said May.

He said the calls flooded the system within those few hours but once the storm passed, “It started dropping off rather quickly. I mean real quickly.”

May said if the storm lasted longer, they would have used their callback system and could have had about 75 more firefighters within an hour. He said they didn't need to use that system.

He said, “We still got to all the calls.”

May said house fires may have had four or five instead of six or seven fire trucks responding, but he said they answered all the calls.

May said the number of calls is back to normal. He said more dispatchers would help the system from being overloaded when storms like Tuesday night’s happen.

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