February 17, 2016

Calm amid chaos

BY ALYSSA MEIER
Editor

Ten monitors sit in front of her, another three behind her. Four or five others are scattered around the rest of the dispatch office. The room is quiet.

She sits with her eyes moving from one screen to another, watching a prisoner in his bed, and blinking dots moving on a map, then approaching visitors to the jail.

She waits in the eerie quiet until a phone call shatters that silence.

"911, what is your emergency?," McLean County dispatcher Kennedy Pippenger says to the caller.

There has been an accident in Garrison between two vehicles. While Pippenger gets information on the crash, another dispatcher, John Boles gets the Garrison Ambulance and Fire station dispatched to the location. Pippenger radios out to any available deputy sheriffs that are on patrol, and one officer gets back, saying he is on his way to the accident.

The man and woman who take turns on the phone are both shaken up, but no one appears to be injured.


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