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AT&T reports nationwide disruption of 911 service

  • Published in News

AT&T is reporting sporadic 911 service disruptions nationwide. If you attempt to call 911, but cannot get through, call 911 via another cell carrier, use a landline to call 911 or call 301-279-8000 for emergency service. 

The Sentinel will provide more details as the story develops.

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More inspections planned after 911 failure

  • Published in Local

Sprint Wireless leaders said they will put new measures in place to prevent another outage that prevented customers last month from dialing 911 on their mobile phones.

Brian Hedlund, a Sprint Wireless representative Brian Hedlund, told the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) said last week a defective part prevented Sprint Wireless from sustaining wire line service during a PEPCO power outage Aug. 16.

Hedlund said Sprint had “redundancy,” or alternate power sources, in case there was a power failure. He said such an incident is unlikely to occur but Sprint needs to be ready in case it does.

“This particular switch failure was a very unusual circumstance,” Hedlund said.

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Government demands Sprint explain 911 outage

  • Published in Local

A Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments committee called Sprint representatives to meet with them next week to explain why Sprint customers couldn’t dial 911 Aug. 16 and to explain their plans to prevent that from happening again.

Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner (D-1), who chairs the Council of Governments, said he believes the COG ongoing 911 directors committee is the best group to schedule an investigation of the Sprint incident and review it. 

“COG is the natural forum for it,” said Berliner, who had yet to select an exact date for the meeting as of Wednesday.

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911 service problems reported for Sprint cell phone users

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – A power outage and fire is preventing some local Sprint cell phone users in the area from being able to call 911.

“Due to an extensive commercial power outage and fire, some Sprint wireline customers in the Metro DC Area are unable to access voice and data service. We are working aggressively to restore power and full services, and we apologize for the inconvenience to our customers,” said Sprint spokesperson Adrienne Norton.

“Sprint cellular service is affected throughout the area,” said County officials in an Alert Montgomery message sent out around 1 p.m. Tuesday. “If you receive a busy signal when you call 9-1-1, please use a landline phone or a cell phone covered by another provider.”

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Council told overheating unit led to 911 freeze out

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County Council member Nancy Navarro (D-4) called the July 10 two-hour shutdown of the 911 system in the County a nightmare scenario come true.

“I will have to confess that I usually have one recurring nightmare and this is the one,” Navarro said. “It’s when I’m trying to call 911 and I can’t get through.”

On Tuesday the council was briefed on the cause of the shutdown and the preventative steps that will be taken by the County’s emergency management officials.

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County searches for solutions in wake of 911 debacle

  • Published in Local

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Montgomery County officials say they want access to a federal alert system with a reach far beyond the County’s current system.

The County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is overseeing a federal application to gain access to the Wireless Emergency Alerts system administered through the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

According to OEMHS director Dr. Earl Stoddard, Montgomery County may become one of the first localities, if not the first, in Maryland to enter the system, which allows government officials to notify residents about imminent threats to safety, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

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