911 outage leaves callers and investigators with no answer - Tucson News Now

911 outage leaves callers and investigators with no answer

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

After 911 system failure that lasted about 20 minutes Monday afternoon,some first responders began to look for their own safeguards.  If TucsonFire Department didn't get a call in two minutes, they picked up the phone tomake sure that things were working.

The outage began about a quarter to three Monday afternoon.  Dispatchersfound out that calls to 9-1-1 were ringing and ringing, and goingunanswered.  The system started working again after three, accordingto the Pima County Sheriff Department.

The outage affected not just Tucson Fire, but also Tucson Police, Pima CountySheriff, and others across the city and county.  The sheriff departmentsaid that the backup queue showed 54 calls missed.  All were calledback.  The department said that no emergencies appeared to have goneunanswered.  Some were test calls from this weekend when the sheriff's9-1-1 system moved into the county emergency communications and operationscenter and went online yesterday.  They're still looking for what causedMonday's outage.

"We take in hundreds of thousands of calls a year, and so, even that 30minute lapse in the system, we don't want to have anything.  We want tohave 100 percent, all of the time.  So, when you're dealing withtechnology, there are certainly times that you can have a minor malfunctionhere and there.  We're trying to prevent those from happening and makesure we're 100 percent all of the time," said Tucson Fire DepartmentCaptain Barrett Baker.

CenturyLink did not grant an interview because the investigationcontinues.  But market development manager Guillermo Figueroa did issuethis statement:

"The scheduled migration that occurred Sunday morning was completedsuccessfully.  Earlier this afternoon, the 911 system experienced a briefinterruption and backup procedures were implemented. We take all matters thatpertain to safety seriously and are conducting an investigation.

Shortly after the interruption, the system began operating as designed."

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