ELKHART — Dispatch centers in Elkhart County received fewer calls overall between Sunday, Jan. 5, and Tuesday morning, Jan. 7, when a snow storm followed by freezing temperatures swept through the Midwest.
Egbert Dijkstra, director of the Elkhart County 911 communications center, said they were never truly busy Monday, mostly receiving calls from residents in the county wondering if going to the grocery store to buy food was considered an emergency.
“We got calls about whether residents were going to get tickets or whether they were going to get pulled over if they are out and about,” he said.
Between 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Tuesday, the county communications center received 26 calls for accidents, 16 calls for abandoned vehicles, 67 for motorists assists, and 22 vehicles in a ditch.
In Elkhart City, the numbers are relatively similar. Desiree Detwiler, assistant director of the Elkhart City dispatch center, said that between early Sunday morning and Tuesday morning, the dispatch center received 60 medical calls, 30 calls for disabled vehicles, and 20 calls for traffic accidents — none of which resulted in any injuries.
Patrol car and plow truck slide-offs were included in the total numbers provided by the county and city dispatch centers. No patrol car and plow truck slide-offs or accidents resulted in any injuries.
Like Dijkstra, Detwiler said the city dispatch center received several calls from people asking about whether they could drive during the emergency declaration.
Sgt. Trent Smith, public information officer with the Indiana State Police, said he estimated more than 100 calls were made throughout the Bremen District, which includes Elkhart, related to crashes and slide-offs between Sunday and Tuesday, but none of the crashes reported resulted in serious injury.
Smith said residents are still encouraged to be cautious when driving as the low temperatures continue.