Good Samaritan Steven James from Dawsonville helping several motorists on Brannon Road this afternoon. He did this from his heart. (click for larger version)
February 03, 2014FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – Emergency management in Forsyth County was in full effect during last week's winter storm. Things got bad around noon Tuesday, Jan. 28 and lasted until about 3 p.m. Jan. 29.
During that time, the Forsyth County Fire Department responded to a total of 52 incidents, of which 15 were medical emergencies, 22 were motor vehicle accidents, four were investigating smoke calls, one was a vehicle fire and the others were miscellaneous calls, including a water leak inside a structure.
During about the same time frame, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office attended to196 accident calls, 155 road obstructions and 94 calls to assist motorists.
About 1:45 p.m., the Forsyth County Emergency Management Operations Center off Settingdown Road was brought up to Level 2 status.
From noon until midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Forsyth County 911 Center received a total of 842 calls for service. That number includes 234 officer-initiated calls.
From midnight Wednesday until 2:45 p.m. Jan. 29, the 911 Center received 129 calls for service.
In preparing for the inclement weather operations, the 911 Center brought in six additional staff members.
Emergency service personnel were brought in for support, which was kept live until 2:30 p.m. Jan. 29.
"We shut it down to basically on-call, or as needed status," said Division Chief Jason Shivers, of the Forsyth County Fire Department. "Basically, what we did from the emergency operations center was manage the needs of the county, working very close with all the agencies you would expect to provide critical support to the community."
That included the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, Forsyth County Roads and Bridges Department, the Georgia Department of Transportation and other emergency services.
Emergency calls after 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 had dropped to less than normal because people were staying indoors.
"We can attribute that to people doing exactly what we'd asked – staying home," Shivers said. "That eased the burden on the emergency services and the road departments and allowed us to continue to work on the roads to make them passable."
Thursday morning, Shivers recommended people wait until the sun had a chance to get up so that people were not driving in the dark. With Forsyth County Schools canceled Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, less traffic was expected.
The county's roads and bridges personnel remained busy throughout this weather event.
While planning and preparation for potential inclement weather had been taking place over the past several days, Forsyth County Roads and Bridges transitioned into inclement weather operations around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The county has five sand/salt trucks (four of which are also outfitted with snow plows) and three motor graders with blades to scrape the roads.