While confusion reigned during a major freeway crash, local dispatchers have been honored for their work handling the situation.

Livingston County Central Dispatch was recently named the Michigan Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials 2017 Team of the Year. The award was given during the APCO Awards ceremony held in Frankenmuth earlier this month. The team was cited for their efforts on December 8th of 2016 when a sudden snow squall caused a 53-car pileup on I-96 near Fowlerville. 911 Director Chad Chewning says staff on duty that day displayed “an impressive amount of dedication, teamwork, knowledge, and efficiency handling an extremely large-scale event, in addition to almost double the normal call volume of a typical day.”

Chewning said that with the multitude of departments and responders from both in-county and out-of-county, it might very well have been the largest incident that has been handled in Livingston County Central Dispatch’s history. Along with fielding calls for the pileup and dispatching responders to the scene, Chewning says the team also continued to handle many other high-priority calls over the course of 14 hours including additional injury accidents, domestic issues, and medical emergencies. Chewning added that the staff, which he called the “unsung heroes of the public safety world,” went above and beyond, making sure to attend to all of the patients, callers, and responders involved. (JK)