DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — Dispatcher Katrina Desroches walked into work Wednesday morning at the Dartmouth Police Department without knowing the busy day that was ahead of her.
Desroches said her colleagues were already focused on reports of a suspicious fire on Prospect Street, which was later determined to be 36-year-old Ian Grant’s home.
“It was pretty hectic the moment I walked in,” she recalled.
It wasn’t until a few hours later that Grant, who’s considered a person of interest in the suspected arson at his home, would lead police on an hours-long chase that began in Massachusetts, went through Rhode Island and ended in Connecticut.
On top of communicating with state and local agencies about the pursuit, Desroches and her colleagues also had to answer unrelated calls for assistance from the community they serve.
“Usually, in a normal shift you have a variety of different calls that will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour,” Desroches explained. “Whereas this one call lasted almost the entire day, along with everything else going on.”
“You name it, we had it,” dispatch supervisor Melissa McGuire added. “We were extremely busy coordinating with all personnel that needed to be notified, getting everyone en route, and notifying towns, cities and states of what was going on.”
Grant was ultimately arrested by troopers in Connecticut, where he’s being held as a fugitive from justice.
The chaotic ordeal took place in the middle of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which celebrates the dispatchers who help others through difficult situations day in and day out.