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Central Oregon

Verizon phone issue affecting 911 callers in C.O., other areas

Deschutes 911 dispatcherx

Workarounds get calls through, but without location info, numbers

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A Verizon phone service issue reportedly tied to a cut fiber line in Washington state has affected 911 services in several Oregon counties and areas of California and Washington, officials say. While callers can still get through, location info is unavailable in many cases.

“Multiple counties throughout Oregon have been affected,” Deschutes 911 Director Sara Crosswhite said late Wednesday. “It was intermittent yesterday and then ongoing all day today.”

Crosswhite said Deschutes County 911 has an automatic reroute in place for outages or events like this involving cellular carriers. The Verizon callers are rerouted to another line and dispatchers are able to identify the line and know that it is a 911 call.

However, "there is still a loss of location and phone number data due to the cut line,” she added.

“Because we are not receiving location or phone number data from the Verizon callers, we continue to utilize our normal procedures, starting with the address of the incident and then the callers' information,” Crosswhite said.

Deschutes County 911 notified the Oregon Emergency Response System, which in turn notified the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, which Crosswhite said is “actively in touch” with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the issue.

The Harney County Sheriff’s Office, facing similar issues, as calls to 911 go to a non-emergency administrative line — and does not show the caller’s correct number.

They advised residents calling 911 with emergencies to immediately give their location and let them know it’s an emergency.

The sheriff’s office said a Verizon representative was working with the county to resolve the incorrect-number issue. They said the 911 issues are occurring in Washington, Oregon and California.

Deschutes County / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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