Emergency operations center sees dip in calls during start of pandemic

The Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Center saw a record number of emergency radio transmissions in 2020, according to an annual report discussed by the Bartholomew County Commissioners Monday.

Todd Noblitt, director of the center, reported that there were 2.7 million emergency radio transmissions in the county last year.

Although the total number of phone transactions were almost 142,000, that indicates the lowest number since 2016. The peak over the past 20 years was set in 2006, which had just over 200,000 phone transactions with the center. The center did see an increase in calls for service to law enforcement, fire service and medical calls in 2020, Noblitt said.

During the first months of the pandemic, the center saw a dramatic decrease in the number of calls, Noblitt said. The number of calls in March, April and May were down 17 percent, but increased throughout the year to bring up the overall numbers, Noblitt said.

Noblitt said that the center is responsible for the communications of more than 400 first responders in the county in 20 public safety agencies.