Ames(IA) officials hope to quash" Y2K" rumors : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


I guess since the press never fully educated the public about y2k that someone decided to have RUMOR CONTROL. Why didn't I think if this..

Volunteers will man a hot line on New Year's to keep 911 lines free for real emergencies.

By JENNIFER DUKES LEE Register Staff Writer 12/21/1999

Ames, Ia. - City leaders here will operate a "rumor hot line" on New Year's Eve to shield the town's 911 center from overload.

"We want to keep the 911 system from becoming jammed. That's a very big concern for us," said Clare Bills, public relations officer for the city.

Bills said the city's technology is ready for the new year and will operate normally when 1999 turns over to 2000.

However, city leaders worry that residents may panic if other forces, such as the weather, create havoc.

For instance, last year a snowstorm and a water-main break caused problems in Ames on New Year's Eve, Bills said.

"Nobody thought two things about it then," Bills said. "Now, if something happens, like heavy snow breaking a tree branch and the lights go out, they may think it's because of Y2K."

The city hopes residents call the rumor hot line instead of 911 unless they have a real emergency. The hot line is 515-239-5200.

Other cities and the state are taking similar measures. The Iowa Division of Emergency Management plans to operate a rumor-control center at Camp Dodge in Johnston on Dec. 31 to track down rumors.

Ames' rumor trackers - all of them city employees who are volunteering their time will work out of City Hall.

Callers will hear the voices of City Council members, the city manager or Mayor Ted Tedesco on the other end of the line.

"We don't want people with true emergencies not to be able to get through to 911," Tedesco said.

The city also will set up numerous "help stations" at all Ames schools in case 911 operators are flooded with calls.

City employees will be stationed at the schools from 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. Jan. 1.

-- y2k dave (, December 21, 1999

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