Lightning Strike Hits Gibson County 911 Center

Ben Rainwater

DYER, Tenn. - Gibson County dispatcher Gail Wallace was taking a call at the county's 911 center when out of nowhere the entire emergency service's system went down.

"It was just raining and all of the sudden lightning hit us," said Gail Wallace. "It was a loud boom, which took out our phone system and radio system."

Even though lightning had just hit the building and workers had their own emergency situation at hand, they said their first concern was the public and making sure they stayed safe.

"It's scary for us too, but we do what we've got to do for our community," said Wallace.

Workers had to react quickly to find a new way to dispatch emergency services without their radio service in tact.

"We called emergency management, and they sent their trailer here," said operations manager Bob Moore. "And we were able to start dispatching over their radio system."

With the phone system down, the center also had get their 911 calls rerouted through Weakley County.

"When the phone system transferred calls over there, they (Weakley County) would get the calls," said Wallace. "When Weakley County would take the calls, they would actually transfer that call to our cell phones."

Workers said the center's 911 response times were normal and they did not miss a single call.


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