Reno Co. 911 takes 100 calls in 10 minutes after earthquake, asks public to call for emergencies

Local

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Seconds after an earthquake shook Hutchinson on Sunday, phones at the Reno County 911 center started ringing off the hook.

Jessica Lynch, Director of Reno County Emergency Communications Center, says she always wants people to call 911 if they absolutely need to but after the earthquake, almost all of the calls were not emergencies.

“We took approximately 150 calls,” says Lynch. “The first 100 came within the first 10 minutes.”

“Most of our calls that came in were non-emergencies.”

Handling all of the calls were three dispatchers, plus a trainee. It got to the point where they got more calls than they could handle.

“Some of our other calls went to Harvey County, and I believe a call went into Allen County,” says Lynch. “That delay can be substantial when you are in a life-threatening situation.”

Out of the more than 150 calls only three required immediate help. Lynch understands the shock of something like an earthquake but asks the public to use 911 when they really need it.

Lynch asks people calling for non-emergencies to call 620-694-2800 or the Command Center at 620-694-2816.

For earthquake-related resources, click here.

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