Florence County 911 dispatch and SCDOT prepared for winter storm

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – The winter storm blew through our area starting early Saturday morning the Pee Dee and Border Belt saw snow flurries and rain for most of the day.

South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and Florence County 911 dispatch were prepared to weather storm and keep you safe.

SCDOT crews are working around the clock to monitor the interstate and bridges.

Lorena Pate, SCDOT District Maintenance Engineer said, “We start before the storm to make sure all the equipment is going and make sure it’s running properly.”

Crews began spraying brine and rock salt the roads earlier this week. Goal is to make sure you are safe on the roads.

“We want to make sure we have everything done that way people can still get out and about,” Pate adds.

SCDOT wants motorists to drive cautiously on back roads — to avoid black ice.

 

The Florence County 911 dispatch center trains year round for weather related emergencies.

Mitch Fulmore, Florence County Acting Central Dispatch Manager said, “We don’t know when or how these emergencies will pop up on us. So our training that we do year round. Our weekly training is geared toward this type of situation or back in October with the Hurricane.”

Extra dispatchers are on each shift while all of the other employees are on call– in case there is an increase in calls.

“We train to handle a large amount of calls. We train to handle every type of call that could come up,” Fulmore adds.

Dispatchers are trained to help people in the county and the 1st responders in any emergency.

“It’s extremely important that we are trained in what we do and how to handle these situations because if we are not. It does affect the safety of the public and the safety of our responders.”

“That’s our primary goal is for the public and the agencies we dispatch for and that training is the key.”

The 911 center did not receive have an increase in calls or accidents on the roads–the center will stay on call overnight.