Last night’s storm hit Vicksburg and Warren County hard, causing trees to fall, power lines to snap, and a few homes to be damaged.

Thankfully, no one was injured, and Warren County residents’ awareness is to be commended. We work well when we work as a team to help each other.

However, no one worked harder or had a more impactful role than the three women who worked at the Vicksburg Warren 911 Call Center overnight. In a 12-hour period, they fielded 224 calls, most of them in a 3-hour period. When a call comes in, they talk to the caller while typing in information and, if necessary, dispatching units. They do this while interacting with their fellow dispatchers, who back them up while handling their duties. It is a real team effort.

It not only takes a lot of training and talent, but it takes a special type of person to handle all those things at once while – and this is important – dispatching police, fire, medical, and other resources to help the person in peril. A lot of time, they are dealing with a manic screaming person having one of the worst moments of their life. Often, they talk to a shell-shocked person explaining to them how to perform CPR on the person they love the most in the world.

It’s a hell of a job.

While the storm raged outside, the three dispatchers at the Vicksburg Warren 911 Call Center were the eye of the storm. They not only answered calls and dispatched crews, but they also maintained a meticulous record of every storm-related event. Their teamwork and coordination were instrumental in keeping the situation under control.

If you happen to cross paths with Samantha Barnes, Melissa Ballard, or Heather Hinson, please take a moment to express your gratitude. These three women have been tirelessly and selflessly performing a job that most people could not handle. Their efforts ensure the safety of all of us including those who keep us safe.

sam mckenzie
Samantha McKenzie Barnes
Melissa Ballard
Melissa Ballard
Heather Hinson
Heather Hinson