E911 fails briefly but is quickly restored

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Christmas Eve started off in silence as the island’s Emergency 911 system went down this morning but was quickly restored.

Although the outage was brief, the failure impacted more than just the emergency system.

Guam Fire Department Deputy Chief Joey San Nicolas says just before 10:30 this morning he was informed that 911 was unable to receive any calls from landlines and wireless cell phones.

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“After some investigation, it was understood that it was a larger problem than just 911. It’s basically on the service provider side. We just immediately went to what we normally do as far as solving the problem to ensure we can get the services out,” San Nicolas said.

While the outage was only for a brief period, GFD stepped into action, informing the public that emergencies could be reported at any police precinct or GFD Fire Station.

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E-911 service provider GTA also scrambled to find out what happened. GTA Community Relations Manager Michelle Perez stated that they had an issue with the landline services including 911. She assured that services were restored shortly after 11 a.m.

“Fortunately, it was only a short time frame. We are back up and we are again able to receive calls from all cellphones, and landlines,” San Nicolas said.

In situations such as this, San Nicolas assures that communication between emergency personnel continues through the use of GFD’s land mobile radio system which ran unaffected and allows for the dispatch of responders to emergency situations.

He added that with the procurement of the Next Generation E-911 system, incidents like this will not occur.

Reports were also received by PNC that credit card machines were affected by the brief outage.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.