KINGSPORT, Tenn. - During Wednesday's strong storms the Kingsport Central Dispatch took hundreds of calls for everything from people trapped in their cars to being stuck inside their homes.
We learned between 6 p.m. and midnight Wednesday dispatch answered 87 percent more calls than the previous Wednesday. Many were calling to report people trapped, while others were asking what they should do to be safe.
Dispatcher Eric Clear tells us sometimes people panic and dispatchers just have to be the calming voice on the other end of the phone. "They're calling us for help for guidance and sometimes all it takes is just a calm voice to get them to calm down. You have to make yourself [calm] because we're human too," adds Clear.
The dispatchers also want to remind everyone to only use 911 in emergency situations because they have a lot of people who tie up the phone lines for non-emergencies.