Monongalia County 911 gets more than 250 calls during Backyard Brawl

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:46 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Saturday’s Backyard Brawl drew a massive crowd, but it also had a massive impact on emergency agencies.

More than 60,000 fans filled the stands of Milan Puskar Stadium Saturday.

With a legacy game like Backyard Brawl, the Monongalia County 911 Call Center had to be on the ball.

M.E.C.C.A.’s Assistant Director Bradley Wilson says 911 operators fielded around 250 calls that evening, more than twice the amount of an average Saturday night.

“We expected a large crowd,” said Wilson. “Compared to the Big 12, which most of them are newer teams that we’re playing, Pitt’s an old rivalry. It goes back 106 years.”

Wilson says 911 operators had to work closely with first responders on the ground to get the most accurate information.

Sometimes, multiple calls can come in from a singular emergency.

Wilson says thankfully the call center is fully staffed for the first time in years.

“Especially if you get a bunch of calls coming in at one time -- they would process which ones are the higher priority calls and then they would dispatch them out and any questions we have we can always contact one of the supervisors in the field and they will tell us which ones to get out first,” said Wilson.

Wilson says first responders on the ground treated more than 70 patients for various medical issues, but overall the brawl ran smoothly.

“The game was a night game, so usually by the time the game gets around it’s a full day thing; just a few minor scuffles after the game, I think a few minor wrecks, but I think for a game that size it wasn’t too bad,” said Wilson.