Questions Surround Failure of 911 in Fairfax County, Area After Storm

911 crippled for three days following Friday storm.

Northern Virginia officials are raising questions about how Verizon handled the loss of several 911 emergency systems, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Verizon operates the emergency service.

The director of Fairfax County’s emergency communications center said it took Verizon roughly three hours to officially notify the county that 911 was down after the emergency line went out at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the Post reported.

In addition to Fairfax County, Prince William County and Manassas Park officials are asking Verizon to conduct an internal investigation, earlier this week. 

The 911 problems in Arlington, Fairfax County, Prince William County and elsewhere started in the aftermath of Friday night's and were not fully cleared up until Tuesday in some areas. The main culprit seems to have been a Verizon "trunk line" in Arlington, . A trunk is a "communications path connecting two switching systems in a network" — a key element in routing calls, according to this Verizon glossary.

Manassas Park Mayor Frank Jones , " ... Personally, I am extremely concerned. We cannot have the critical link between the citizens and the city's emergency response capability compromised. The lack of information, the duration of the outage, and the clear lack of back-up/redundancy have created an unacceptable situation. I agree with (Fairfax County Supervisor) Sharon Bulova—an investigation is warranted."

9-1-1 emergency service was finally completely restored in Fairfax about noon Tuesday.

Terry July 10, 2012 at 02:45 AM
How about an UPS systems for the 911 locations? Did any politician think of that when shooting out budgets for Fairfax Emergency Services?


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