Computer problems shuts down Reno's 911 and non-emergency phone lines : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Computer problems shuts down Reno's 911 and non-emergency phone lines

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A computer glitch shut down the city's 911 and non-emergency phone lines to Reno Police, the Reno Fire Department and Washoe County Sheriff's Office for about 30 minutes Wednesday. Deputy Reno Police Chief Jim Johns said the program that captures information on all incoming calls to the communications center was being upgraded when the problem occurred around 11:15 a.m.

While incoming calls were not ringing through the system, communications supervisors overseeing the upgrade could see them coming in, he said.

Because information on all 911 calls are recorded, dispatchers called back all the incoming numbers to ensure no emergencies were overlooked.

"Despite the fact calls were not answered, we had the ability to see that calls were coming in and we had the ability to immediately return those calls, which we did," Johns said.

During the outage, about 150 calls were hang-ups from cell phone users, Johns said.

Many people either misdial or mistakenly press an emergency button on their cell phone and call 911, often without realizing it, Johns said.

The center routinely receives hundreds of such calls each day.

"The upgraded programming was being done to specifically capture that data for us," Johns said.

Two calls received during the outage were for medical assistance. Those people called the ambulance company direct when no answered 911, he said.

One person called with a legal question, another wanted a detective's phone number and two were misdials from a casino.

-- Martin Thompson (, December 27, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ