Running the Radio Room during a pandemic

Louisville Water’s Radio Room can be a “crazy busy” place, said Dispatcher Beth McAnelly. It’s a room at the Allmond Avenue facility that serves as a nerve center for many of the company’s operations, including its response to a range of water emergencies that can happen any time—day or night, weekday or weekend.

If there’s a main break, for example, McAnelly might suddenly get a flurry of calls from customers as well as reports from businesses, MSD, and police officers. Although the job can be hectic, she said she likes the fast pace.

But whether she’s dealing with an emergency or just day-to-day operations, McAnelly, like most Louisville Water employees, has had to make a few changes to the way she works as the company responds to the coronavirus crisis.

For instance, because dispatchers cannot work remotely, “we now have to keep our door closed to keep traffic out of the Radio Room,” she said.

This means that other employees who usually report to the room in person, such as emergency turners, have to use an alternate method.

“They are taking pictures of all of their timesheets and other paperwork,” she explained, “so we’ve pretty much gone paperless.”

And she noted another new procedure that helps ensure her workspace will continue to provide critical coordination for Louisville Water operations: “Now we always give the Radio Room a good cleaning before the next shift comes in.”