Chch 111 operators ‘seamless’ quake response

  • Breaking
  • 19/09/2010

By Deanna Harris

Christchurch 111 operators never stopped working even when the ground was shaking under their desks and call volumes surged.

“Between 4:35am to 7:00am we would normally get about 172 calls and on this occasion we got an extra 616 during that time period,” says police spokesperson Annie Coughlan.

The volumes of calls remained higher than usual during the days following the main earthquake but have now returned to normal.

Ms Coughlan says staffing levels did not change during this time.

Police commissioner Howard Broad visited Christchurch the week after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake on September 4 and saw first hand how police staffs were coping with the demands placed on them.

“I heard plenty of stories about people going the extra mile - such as a communicator in the Southern Communications Centre who continued to deal with a 111 call from under her desk while the quake rattled on.

“The Communications Centre, housed in Christchurch Central Police Station, suffered minor damage but the generator automatically kicked in and operations carried on seamlessly.”

Operation Reassurance - the saturation of affected suburbs with police and army staff – is continuing as Christchurch moves into the recovery phase following last weeks lifting of the state of emergency.

"We want to reassure the public that criminals can expect to be stopped by police. Residents with any concerns about people acting suspiciously in their neighbourhood should not hesitate to call Police on 111," Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Dave Cliff said.

"We will continue to maintain a highly visible presence in the community to ensure that people contemplating illegal activity or behaviour are dealt with," Mr Cliff says.

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source: newshub archive