FEATURED IN PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS
Medford, Ore. -- CenturyLink phone technicians are working to determine why about 350 customers in northern Jackson County lost 9-1-1 service Sunday afternoon and again this morning, said Lisa Willis, the company's manager of market development.
Customers in White City, Eagle Point, Shady Cove, Butte Falls and Prospect were unable to make the three-digit call for help from 2:36 until 8:32 p.m. on Sunday and again from 6:33 to about 9:30 a.m. today, she said.
Some customers had no dial tone and couldn't make any calls, while others could make calls to numbers within the same local prefix area, but couldn't reach 9-1-1, officials said.
Margie Puckett, director of Southern Oregon Regional Communications, said tests by deputies and firefighters determined that 9-1-1 calls from the affected numbers reached the answering center, but operators couldn't hear the caller. Such calls would be considered a 9-1-1 hang-up and an officer would be sent to the place the call came from to investigate.
Officials with the phone company and the 9-1-1 center don't yet know how many calls for help might have run into difficulty during the outage.
Technicians with CenturyLink hope to find the cause of the repeated outages and make repairs so such service interruptions won't happen again, Willis said.
The emergency number is working now, but if people have problems when dialing 9-1-1, they can call a 10-digit emergency number, 541-776-7111, to reach the same center, Puckett said. Callers who can't dial outside their prefix can try calling their local fire station directly, she said.
If problems persist, the 9-1-1 answering center has contingency plans to send operators to handle additional lines at Jackson Fire District No. 3's headquarters in White City.
Posted with permission of the Mail Tribune. [http://www.mailtribune.com]