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Brazos Valley counties resolve issues with 911 call centers

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 2:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 4:54 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Early Wednesday morning, Washington, Burleson, Robertson, Madison, Grimes, and Leon Counties had difficulties with 911 call centers.

The Texas Department of Transportation said that Verizon accidentally cut their own line and disconnected the counties from callers.

Washington County 911 Director, Kristi Stamnes says it was around midnight when the phones stopped ringing.

“We had found out that TxDot had requested for Verizon to reroute their cables, their lines due to a road that’s getting construction. So they planned this reroute, unbeknownst to us, we did not know,” said Stamnes.

Quickly, backup plans were put into place, calls were routed to the Brazos County 911 District, and were then transferred to the right county and agency.

“Knowing that we could be accepting calls from all of our surrounding counties, it’s very attention detailed when it comes to something like that,” said Halley Challis, Brazos County 911 District Training Coordinator.

Challis says luckily Brazos Valley counties are always working together.

“We communicate very often, especially about contingency plans like this and we hope that we won’t have to use them but we are very well versed in case we do need to,” said Challis.

During the outage, 52 calls were routed to Brazos County then back to the correct agency.

“They did great taking the calls, filtering them, getting them back to us in a timely matter and it’s those type of connections that really help us,” said Stamnes.

Everything was back up and running correctly by Wednesday afternoon.

Stamnes says they’ve been working on a plan that will avoid this specific issue in the future.

“This particular situation it was a line cut and if we could have had a backup system in place we could have rerouted it easily without anyone really knowing there was an outage, but there was no backup for redundancy of lines,” said Stamnes. “It’s something that we’ve been working on for a while and hoping this October to start that process. It’s in the works, it just hasn’t taken place yet.

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