Due to an increase in 911 calls following Wednesday's winter storm, officials at said the department has gone into High Incident Response Load (HIRL).
"The (Pierce County) Fire Comm dispatch center who takes care of all of fire departments, pretty much in Pierce County, is getting so many calls that their dispatchers aren't able to handle all of the calls," explained Nanette Tatom, GHFMO's Prevention Specialist. "So they're relying on the individual fire departments to help them out and basically be the secondary dispatch for them."
With extra staff required to monitor the radios at the stations, Tatom said it's important for citizens to call the appropriate agencies for downed trees and power lines if no life hazard is present and only call 911 in case of life threatening emergencies.
Aside from a few medical emergencies, Tatom said the department has not received any calls for serious life-threatening emergencies related to the storm.
"We've gotten 15 calls in the last few hours, but that's still high for us," said Tatom.
If you locate a downed power line or lose power at your home, call the Peninsula Light Company at 253-853-1388.
Due to power outages across the county, at 7700 Skansie Ave. will be available as an emergency shelter upon request. Call 253-224-7755 prior to arrival. Click here for more locations in Pierce County.
When going to a shelter, please bring the following:
- Toiletries (toothpaste, personal hygiene items, and medications)
- Blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows
- Extra clothing, towels, and washcloths
- Comfort items for children (stuffed animal, toys, games, books, and blanket)
For trees blocking roadways, contact the Pierce County Emergency Operations Center at 253-798-7470.