Saturday, September 24, 2011


Todd works for Johnson Emergency Communication Center...basically Iowa City and Johnson County Dispatch Center.   About a year ago last July the two centers joined becoming one center for the entire county.  They have some "new" hiccups like any new building with software and what not.  Typically the center runs on a skeleton crew, always has, this saves money for the taxpayers, however they have had 2 people leave and 2 on leave of absence plus they do not have a supervisor, so Todd was pulled to fill in until they find one.  He has been doing this since July.  With the major shortage, he has been working some odd hours and sometimes some long shifts.  Yesterday was one of them.  He worked 3 pm until 11 pm and then again 3 am until 11 am.  Yes, that is right only 4 hours off between shifts.  The center is also where all agencies will meet if there is ever a county disaster because of this they have cots.  In order for Todd to get as much sleep as he could we both agreed it would be best for him to stay and sleep there instead of two 20 minute drives, taking 40 minutes of his sleeping time away.

I believe God has a reason for everything even if it is an odd way.  About 40 minutes before he was going to get up one of the dispatchers went down the hall yelling for him because they had no idea where he took the cot to sleep.  They had a huge emergency and did not know where to find this one book to handle an emergency like this.  Downtown Iowa City was on fire!  4 buildings were burning and they had to call for all the volunteer firemen on top of the active firemen.  I have posted pictures from the Press Citizen, the city's paper's web site.  Only Todd knew where this procedure was.

Firefighters were on two streets and 11 other cities fire departments assisted as well as the Iowa City Police, Johnson County Ambulance and Red Cross provided aid and assistance.  This fire became a 3 alarm fire after a backdraft explosion around 2:30 am then by 7:30 am it became a 4 alarm fire.  Bruegger's Bagels, Van Patten House and Vogel House both on the National Register of Historical Places, Studio 13 (a popular dance club), and The Yacht Club ended up on fire or smoke damage, several other buildings near it had water damage from the firemen trying to prevent the fire from spreading.  Bruegger's and Van Patten are back to back to one another and had the worse damage both buildings have no roof or second floor, both buildings have apartments above the stores, luckily no civilians or firefighters were injured.  

Todd was home by 11:30 and the firefighters were still putting out small hot spot fires.  Todd works so hard if only the city would know what a great job he does and have him fill the supervisor job for good.  I do not think any other dispatcher works or gives up as much as he does.  He is now home asleep and missing his Hawkeyes playing football.  Poor guy.  

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That's a scary fire. I'm so glad everyone was OK. And hoping your husband gets his deserved job!

    Though I'm so glad I came across your blog. I live in Utah now, but I grew up in Tipton and my parents still live in Iowa City. I'm overdue for a visit there. Maybe next summer. :)


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