Three Mississippi E-911 dispatchers transported to hospital after diesel fuel spill

Published 4:14 pm Saturday, May 11, 2024

Three Mississippi E-911 dispatchers were transported to the hospital for treatment after being overcome by fumes from a diesel fuel spill in the basement of the Adams County Jail where they work.

It is not known if any of the three has been admitted to the hospital.

E-911 Dispatch Director Annette Fells, along with two call-in dispatchers, are manning the E-911 Call Center that has been set up temporarily at an undisclosed location.

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The Adams County Sheriff’s Office and Adams County Emergency Management are in the process of relocating E-911 dispatchers after gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a generator in the basement of the Adams County Jail and fumes became overwhelming.

Paramedics from AMR  were requested to check out dispatchers.

“Dispatchers began smelling fumes sometime in the night and they got so strong this morning where they were able to track it down to diesel fuel in the boiler room,” said Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten.

He said the generator underwent routine maintenance on Friday by a company contracted by the county for those services.

“Apparently during that maintenance a part was knocked loose and not replaced, which led to the diesel fuel spill,” Patten said.

Once the fuel leak was discovered, dispatchers and jail workers contacted their supervisors this morning, who contacted the county maintenance department.

Maintenance Supervisor Johnny Williams responded and was able to stop the leak, the sheriff said.

The sheriff’s office requested assistance from the Natchez Fire Department, who responded and stood by until absorbents were applied to the floor and the hazard of fire was lessened. Firefighters also helped to ventilate the areas downstairs to try to mitigate the fumes.

“The dispatch center is being evacuated and will be set up in an undisclosed location,” Patten said. “The fumes are extremely strong in the boiler room, in the kitchen, in the dispatch center and in emergency management and in the jail’s control room.”

He said the jail’s second and third levels have not been affected. Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford has called in an Environmental HazMat crew to assist with clean-up. This story will be updated when more information is available.