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Dispatch center kept busy on July Fourth

READ MORE: Dispatch center kept busy on July Fourth

NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- The New Hanover County 911 dispatch center was busier than usual Wednesday night.

One dispatcher says the phones were ringing off the hook. A common complaint was the standstill traffic.

Reel Café employee Anna Gamel said, "Traffic was at a standstill during the fireworks, like nobody was going anywhere, there were people lined up in the streets."

Gamel and her co-workers at the Reel Café weren't the only ones keeping busy with work. The New Hanover County 911 dispatch center went non-stop.

Brenda Hewlett with the New Hanover County 911 Dispatch Center said, "The majority of calls may be with traffic people trying to leave the downtown area from the fireworks it gets a little hectic and crazy."

Between seven p.m. and midnight the center received 408 calls for response. Those calls included:

  • 96 about fireworks
  • 12 about breaking and enterings
  • Eight about assaults
  • Five about car accidents.
New Hanover County EMS and dispatch centers report no delay in response despite the large volume of calls.

Hewlett says they take every call seriously but worry about non-emergency call complaining about traffic take away from real emergencies.

Hewlett said, "Sometimes it's just a waste of resources."

Most people with emergency response teams I spoke to said although the night was busy with calls, it was under control and not as busy as years past.

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