A roughly three-hour disruption sent police and sheriffs scrambling to post alternative phone numbers to social media, while multiple counties were unable to log into the state's 911 system during that time.
(TNS) — Children are taught from a young age to dial 911 in an emergency. Whether it's a heart attack, a break-in or a fire, 911 answers the call right away.
A widespread 911 service outage across
A roughly three-hour disruption sent police and sheriffs scrambling to post alternative phone numbers to social media. Multiple counties were unable to log into the state's 911 system during that time. What happened if you called varied from area to area, with some agencies able to reroute calls before service was fully restored by around
The disruption — which encompassed the southern half of the state — is at least the third major failure of
But Sunday's outage is causing alarm among officials that such a large failure could have occurred — in the middle of a public health crisis, no less.
"The basic function of making sure we have a redundant system has been ignored and yesterday's events are just one more exemplification of this," Carmichael said. "We are teetering on the edge at some point of having a similar failure in the midst of, for example, a tornado or other significant statewide emergency."
The 911 Council, established by state law, has been guiding efforts for years to move
But the widespread outage on Sunday exposed a potential point of failure in a system that is supposed to withstand disasters of all kinds. The crisis began at about
"Staff attempted to reach all calls by making phone calls from their desk/administrative lines,"
While backups are in place, Forshee said "several layers failed yesterday."
"We just really need to do a deeper dive, root-cause analysis report to see exactly what happened and why it happened," she said. "We had some counties not able to log on, but we don't know that their calls weren't routed somewhere else or that they weren't partially at the very least being properly answered somewhere else."
"The effects were minimal, so we were able to dispatch our officers to multiple calls," Cruz said.
It's unclear how many emergency calls didn't go through. "We do not know how many calls this impacted,"
In a Facebook post, the 911 Council identified the problem as a "software conflict." The post also called the situation an "outage," but the word was later edited out.
Abbott on Monday repeated the explanation, but said the disruption didn't appear to be the result of a cyberattack.
Audit warned of outages
A 2018 audit commissioned by the Legislature's auditing operation, called the
"Based on survey responses and council interviews it was apparent large outage events have impacted the statewide platform," the audit report said.
"Though corrective action has been taken to mitigate either event from happening again it should also be noted that system design does not eliminate the risk of future outages impacting multiple (centers)," the report said.
The audit report all but warned
Still, Abbott said Monday the
"Every single time there is an issue, we create redundant means to correct that moving forward," Abbott said.
"You're vulnerable to both kinds of failures and you're vulnerable to special failures," Abley said.
Sunday's failure has led to expressions of concern from state and local officials, who say the problem, which still isn't exactly clear, must be prevented from reoccurring.
"That's the whole purpose of this large coordinating council is if somebody goes down, others can pick it up," Dennis said. "But I don't know if that was possible because it was an
"Our attitude shouldn't be that this is so rare that we shouldn't worry about it, but instead we should acknowledge that there's real consequences when it does happen, even if it's rare, so we have a better plan in place," Whipple said.
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