Dispatchers honored for work during South Haven pier shooting

Van Buren County

911 dispatchers (center L-R) Brooke Smith, Tom Bush, Christine Mortimer and Mike Hostetler are honored for their response to the Aug. 20, 2021, shooting at the South Have pier. To the far left is Dispatch Director Tim McGee and to the far right is Sheriff Dan Abbott. (Courtesy Van Buren County)

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Four Van Buren County dispatchers have been honored for their actions during an August active shooter situation in South Haven.

On Aug. 20, a man on the South Pier in South Haven shot and killed a man, shot and injured that man’s wife and then shot and killed himself.

During the next several minutes, four employees with the Van Buren County Central Dispatch processed 78 911 calls, the Van Buren County 911 Advisory Board said in a letter of recognition that thanked them for their work. It said almost 50 more calls were also sent over to the Cass County 911 center.

The four employees were able to get the critical information and communicate it to those on scene, the board said. They were also able to start using live video from the scene while shots were still being fired.

“The quick, clear, and accurate actions of these 911 staff members during a time for which they have been trained but never actually encountered is evidence of their exemplary performance under the unusual stress of the incident,” the board wrote in the letter.

An off-duty coworker was also at the beach with their kids at that time, adding to the dispatchers’ stress, the board says.

“Putting personal emotions aside, the staff continued to process this high-stress incident as well as the normal 911 business of a Friday afternoon,” the board wrote.

The four employees, Shift Supervisor Mike Hostetler and dispatchers Christine Mortimer, Tom Bush and Brooke Smith, were given an award for their work during a 911 Advisory Board Meeting Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Stories On WOODTV.com

Know something newsworthy? Report It!