911 call issue in Broward County resolved

CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - A phone system outage at several 911 dispatch centers created some concern before the issue was resolved, Friday afternoon.

Callers had a hard time getting through to 911 dispatchers in Broward County for about an hour at noon on Friday, but officials had a backup plan in place.

Officials said the call would go through before it dropped and that’s when a makeshift call center was initiated.

“This is what we do. As first responders, our obligations are to protect the life and property of everybody,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione.

When technology doesn’t cooperate, officials still made sure they were helping as best they could.

“When [the calls] come in, they had the caller I.D., they’d be able to see them and then call the individual back,” said Coral Springs Police Officer Tyler Reik, “because when they picked up the phone, the call would drop.”

While that backup was in place, the Broward Sheriff’s Office sent dispatchers to the Coral Springs Police dispatch center.

“They just came here as a precaution. None of the calls were forwarded to Coral Springs,” Reik said. “They were able to handle everything through their BSO facility.”

Fort Lauderdale dispatch centers also implemented a back up with an automatic message that stated, “If you have an emergency in the City of Fort Lauderdale and need immediate police or fire assistance, place call (954) 828-4200.”

“We instantly activated what you see behind me, which is a makeshift communication center,” Maglione said.

The outage lasted about an hour. County officials tweeted out just before 2 p.m. to notify the public that the issue was resolved.

Officials said they don’t believe any actual emergency calls were impacted.

Every city in Broward County, except Coral Springs and Plantation, was effected by the issue.

Everything is now back up and running normally.

The county said they will study how the outage happened, how the backup systems worked and then will issue a report which will be available next week.

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