First responders kept busy by Irma
The Covington-Newton 911 Center received more than 1,400 calls combined Monday and Tuesday. - photo by Staff Report

COVINGTON, Ga. – First responders in Newton County were kept busy during tropical storm Irma, responding to 910 calls for service during the 28-hour period from Monday at 10 a.m. through Tuesday at 2 p.m.

According to preliminary numbers provided by the Covington-Newton County 911 Communication Center, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) led the way for law enforcement agencies responding to 492 calls for service during the period. Covington Police Department (CPD) responded to 136 calls while Oxford Police Department (OPD) and Porterdale Police Department (PPD) responded to 27 and 13 calls respectively.

For fire services, Newton County Fire Service  (NCFS) responded to 133 calls for service. The Covington Fire Department (CFD) responded to 53 calls during the same period. According to the report, there were 54 EMS calls generated.

Fifty percent of the calls were reportedly for blocked roadways and utility problems. Authorities were also dispatched on 75 burglar alarms, 29 citizen requests for assistance and nine fire-related calls.

There were also two dispatches each for reports of shoplifting, stolen autos and traumatic injuries.

According to the report, the 911 Center remained operational for the duration of the event and utilized emergency power intermittently for approximately 30 minutes. Two communications officers were used to staff the Emergency Operations Center and two additional communications officers were called in to assist with the increased call volume at the 911 Center during the event.

The 911 Center said power outages affected four of 11 radio transmitter sites during the event and all emergency backup power systems engaged properly and maintained service to the sites. There were reportedly no noticeable coverage gaps for public safety and utilities during the period.

According to the report, the average daily total of telephone calls received by the 911 Center is 549. During the reporting period from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon, the Center received 1,409 calls.