State Patrol dispatchers ready for another winter storm

State Patrol dispatchers help connect drivers with law enforcement and EMS if needed.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- "We are the people who when everyone else is going home and wanting to stay home, we're the ones going out," said Pat Peterson, a Law Enforcement Dispatcher with the Wisconsin State Patrol.

She and her colleagues are the voices you hear on the other end of the phone when your car slides into a ditch, you get a flat tire or if you have been in an accident.

They are the Wisconsin State Patrol team. This year winter storms have kept the phones ringing, people calling to get help for themselves or others.

"With the popularity of cell phones, we have a lot of people that are helpful in calling in run offs or crashes; they give us info where the roads may be bad," Peterson said.

Peterson has been with the Wisconsin State Patrol for 19 years.

"I think some of the snowstorms this year have been the most challenging," she added.

They have multiple screens in the dispatch center to help them out. One monitor will let them toggle between traffic cameras on roads like I-94, Highway 53 and Highway 29. Some cameras are as far away as Hudson.

Sgt. William Berger says most accidents happen on the highways.

"Interstate 94, 53 and Highway 29 certainly cause problems with the higher traffic volume and higher speed limits associated with those highways," he said.

Another screen lets dispatchers see where troopers are nearly down to the second so they know who to call for help.

"It's a vehicle locator is what it comes down to," Peterson said.

We asked if there is anything you can do to help dispatchers out when calling about a roadside problem.

Peterson says keep track of where you are when you are driving, some kind of marker.

"You've gone past an exit for Menomonie or we are near Black River Falls," she said describing how to pick a place marker.

She says it will make it quicker and easier for them to get help to you when you need it.

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