Our Official Comments to the FCC about 9-1-1 Outage
Posted 8:44 a.m.
The June 29 derecho storm hit our community hard. One major issue was the loss of 9-1-1 service. From 7:36 a.m. until 3 p.m. on June 30, 9-1-1 service was completely out; for the next three days, service was sporadic.
As a result of this critical outage, Fairfax County submitted official Comments to the Federal Communications Commission detailing what happened, suggestions for Verizon to improve its service and exhibits to show supporting documentation/actions.
You may read our official Comments on the FCC website (PDF).
We are pursuing this life safety issue from many angles including this report to the FCC and regional work through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
As our report declares:
“In short, the ferocity of the derecho does not explain the 9-1-1 outage. Instead, its relevance is as a reminder of the need for resilient and reliable 9-1-1 service. During and after a storm, and in any emergency or disaster, the loss of the public’s ability to contact emergency responders is most profoundly felt. Families in darkened homes crushed by fallen trees, motorists unable to get through roadways blocked by downed electric power lines, elderly residents in care facilities without power in temperatures over 90 degrees, and any other citizens in need of emergency services must be able to call 9-1-1 to seek assistance.”
For more details about our community’s critical 9-1-1 emergency service, view our Department of Public Safety Communications 2011 annual report (PDF) for call volume, trends and other data.