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Service interrupted at 911 centers

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Friday, December 7, 2018

Service to 911 centers in Eastern North Carolina and throughout the Southeast was restored Thursday afternoon after possible interruptions in the Twin Counties and elsewhere, according to telecommunications companies that serve the centers.

Rocky Mount cell phone customers might have experienced problems with 911 calls Thursday, said Jessie Nunery, the city's media relations specialist.

“Some customers across the Southeastern portion of the U.S. have reported issues via major cell phone carriers including AT&T and Verizon,” Nunery said.

It wasn’t immediately known whether any local emergency calls failed to go through to 911 dispatchers. The service interruptions throughout the region began Wednesday and had been returned to normal by 1 p.m. Thursday, said Maggie Bizzell, an advisor for strategic communications at the state Department of Information Technology.

The cause of the interruption wasn't known by Thursday afternoon, but an analysis is underway, said Pokey Harris, executive director of the NC 911 Board.

“Our 911 centers and employees were still operating and serving their communities during this time using established protocol for such instances,” Harris said. “We understand how important 911 service is and always aim to make sure there is as little downtime as possible.”

Assistance at the centers was still available by calling the local centers’ administrative lines. Anyone in Rocky Mount still experiencing issues regarding 911 can call the non-emergency numbers at 252-972-1411 or 252-972-1412.

Anyone who has difficulty reaching their local 911 center should call the main number for their center to report the problem. The state has 115 emergency call centers managed and operated by county or municipal authorities.

The N.C. 911 Board is responsible for both wireline and wireless 911 communications in the state as well as related policies and procedures, and it administers the state’s 911 Fund. The fund is used to support equipment purchases for 911 centers in the state. The board is housed within the state Department of Information Technology.

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