911 calls describe fear during tornadoes

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 11:13 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2021 at 11:28 PM EST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Voices of fear and desperation met dispatchers on the other end of the telephone.

After the first calls went out Dec. 10, first responders sprang into action.

There were hundreds of calls.

The calls came into dispatch centers across the region on the night of the tornadoes in Northeast Arkansas.

“It was just going to be a long night,” said Kenny Kelley, EMT and Dispatch Supervisor for Emerson Ambulance.

Some people called for help, others tried to alert first responders of tornadoes.

For Kelley, planning ahead is essential in severe weather.

“Let all of our people know that there is a possibility that they might have to come in. Make sure that our back-up units are ready to go,” he said.

Kelley said with more than one storm surge in the area that night... there were a lot of moving parts to watch.

“Really watch the radar and it kind of got away from us because we were busy taking calls,” he said.

He said there is always some unknown in this industry, but everyone helps out where they can to keep people safe.

“Because they didn’t have to be out there they are all volunteers in that part of the county. They do a really good job,” Kelley said.

He said other services also came in and helped which in turn helped those affected by the tornadoes.

Emerson Ambulance also received dozens of bags of donations for those affected by the tornadoes.

They already dropped off one load and are expected to take more soon.

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