Lincoln County’s 911 system struggled with a sporadic three-hour outage early Wednesday morning. According to a press release from assistant county manager Martha Lide, the 911 telecommunications personnel first experienced problems with the system at 5:45 a.m., when all incoming 911-phone lines rang simultaneously. Upon answering these calls, personnel discovered no one was on the line.
Upon this discovery, Lide said that the duty telecommunications supervisor notified AT&T that they were experiencing difficulties receiving emergency calls via the 911 system. AT&T returned the supervisor’s email at 7:45 a.m., verifying that they were experiencing technical difficulties not only in Lincoln County, but across several counties in North Carolina.
The company notified the communications director that the system was repaired at 8:35 a.m.
The 911 Communication Center notified county residents of the problem through their LincAlerts/Reverse 911 system. Residents were also provided with the administrative phone line number to call for emergencies.
According to Lide, there have been two confirmed cases in which someone called 911 and the call failed to go through. The first incident involved a fall with injury at a skilled nursing facility in Denver, and the second incident was determined to be a false call from a Lincolnton motel. However, the individuals were able to make contact with 911 communications by utilizing the seven-digit non-emergency number.
County officials were unable to give more information regarding the cause of the outage, and said that information needs to be obtained from AT&T. The contact name and email for the service provider is Todd Lanham at TL0785@att.com.
As of Wednesday evening, county officials said there have not been any other reports of failed attempts to reach Lincoln County’s emergency communications center via 911. Officials urge anyone in Lincoln County who tried unsuccessfully to call 911 during this outage to contact the communications center at (704) 735-8202.