Bastrop News

‘A Night to Remember’ – dispatchers’ calls

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A recent night at the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher headquarters might have been posted under the moniker, “A Night to Remember” – because of the unusual variety and rapidity of calls. That title references the 1958 British film about the sinking of The Titanic, which was based on the book of the same name. And while the “dispatchers’ night” detailed in this article thankfully did not entail the terrible loss of life when the Titanic sank, it still made for unusual listening over the airwaves of a police scanner.

Within a relatively short period of time – about an hour and a half – there were reports of: “a copperhead snake in the drive-thru of Carl’s (restaurant), striking at vehicles”; a house fire; an 18-wheeler on fire; two fights (one in the streets); a mysterious report of a vehicle accident – the report supposedly called in from the driver who was the victim– but the vehicle or driver couldn’t be found; a 13-year-old with “possibly self-inflicted” cuts to the arm; two 9-1-1 calls and then phone hang-ups from the same location; and a “courtesy ride” to the Tropicana motel.

No further reports were heard over the scanner about the snake at Carl’s. Fire units responding to the call of an 18-wheeler on fire at Hwy. 71 and Woodland Drive initially reported they didn’t see anything. Then dispatch came back with a correction that the truck was ‘under’ the Hwy. 71 overpass at Hwy. 21. Firefighters found the truck and reported that just one of the tires was still smoking. Details from officers responding to separate fights on Plum and Pershing streets (the second in Lake Bastrop Acres) could not be surmised over the scanner, but apparently they did not get too out of control because there were no reports of multiple backup units immediately needed.

The report of a house fire on Turkey Ridge, near FM 812, was confined to an oven, said Kevin Geiselhart, chief with the Five Points Volunteer Fire Department. “Bluebonnet Volunteer Fire Department was first to arrive with a command unit and reported that the (fire) was out,” Geiselhart reported. Because oven fires can spread fast, Five Points VFD responded with a full 3,000 gallon pumper truck, but was not needed. It was not immediately determined ‘where’ the driver who self-reported his accident went. No further word was heard, either, of the young female who may have injured herself. The two 9-1-1 hang-up calls were from “a three-year-old who got hold of the phone,” according to a dispatcher briefing responding officers. And the courtesy ride to the Tropicana Motel was for two gents whose vehicle was disabled.

Such was a brief period of time in the life of a dispatcher – not to mention the stream of “reckless drivers” calls that can be heard coming into the dispatchers almost every day and evening. But that’s another story! Stay tuned to

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