Staff stayed cool on shooting calls: Harvey Co. dispatchers tell what it was like, want to relay what they learned

Harvey County Communications dispatcher Tayler Bush was surprised when she listened to the audio of 911 emergency traffic from Feb. 25.

She took the very first call, a few minutes before 5 p.m., of a shooting at 12th and Meridian in Newton. Cedric Ford would fatally shoot three co-workers at Excel Industries in Hesston and injure 14 people before a two-city shooting spree ended when Ford was shot.

“I didn’t think I was,” Bush said, but her voice on the audio is calm.

Normally, three line dispatchers would have been working at the time of the shootings. Administrative staff was still in the building, so a team of six was working in the center during the peak period of the tragic event.

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