Area 911 outage prompts emergency backup across two separate counties

“911, what is your emergency?”
A service interruption spelled a quick response on behalf of the Tillamook County Emergency Communications during the evening of Nov. 24.
By Brian Cameron
“The moment it happened we were immediately in touch with CenturyLink in order to figure out what was happening,” Doug Kettner, administrator with Tillamook County Emergency Communications District, said. “We were still getting some intermittent calls but essentially they could hear us but we couldn’t hear them, shortly thereafter we activated the fire stations throughout the county in order to act as a temporary measure for emergency calls.”
Kettner was referring to the practice of handing over the receiving of all emergency calls to the Tillamook Fire District, which is the going procedure for instances like the unexpected outage.
“We did receive a few calls during the time of the outage and thankfully they were able to be handled through the fire department,” Kettner said. “We did notice we were still getting some calls through CenturyLink landline customers but for the most part it was really hit and miss.”
In addition to Tillamook County emergency communications, there was also a simultaneous outage throughout Lincoln County as well, which also prompted a similar response from their emergency communications district. People wishing to call were being asked to instead reach out to the Newport area Dispatch Center Service Provider or the Willamette Valley Communications Center.
Shortly before 8 p.m. Nov. 24, all services were restored to both Tillamook and Lincoln counties.
In a statement regarding the outage incident, CenturyLink referred to it as a technical issue and that customers in areas of Tillamook and Lincoln counties may have experienced disruptions to landline services, including 911.
“Our technicians worked quickly to identify and restore the impacted areas and all services were restored the same day,” Rachel Montemayor, CenturyLink Marketing Development Manger for Oregon and southwest Washington, said. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to our customers.”