Vermont 911 system experiences statewide outage

911 systems are run by a company in Colorado

WILLISTON, VT (WCAX) – Something unusual happened Wednesday at the Vermont State Police Barracks in Williston. Communications Director Rich Kelley says it was quiet.

“We aren’t getting calls, you say hey it’s been quiet for a little bit, and you pick up your cell phone try to call and it doesn’t go through and we started making notifications from there,” said Kelley.

It wasn’t just in Williston either; 911 was down statewide from around 12:15 in the afternoon to just before 1:00. “It looked just like this without this active call there; there was just nothing on there,” said Kelley.

Kelley said the State Police Williston Barracks usually receives hundreds of calls per day. They act as dispatch for Chittenden and parts of Washington counties, and he has never seen an outage last this long.

“You know if a car crashes over here in South Burlington, you’ll notice it quick because you’ll see ten of them light up. Usually there’s one two three four things going at any given time during the day,” said Kelley.

However, the states 911 board said, while the outage was fixed, they still don’t know the exact cause. David Tucker said, “I don’t know what happened, but this should not have been happening. The system is designed to be redundant, and fall tolerant. This should not have happened and i can’t tell you why it did.”

Tucker says Vermont’s 911 systems are run by a company out of Colorado and it is one of the only states in the country that has a statewide 911 system.

He says people were still able to contact police by calling their local department’s seven digit number but the state said the next step will be tracing the numbers who called 911 during the outage.

“We don’t know at this point how many calls or how many callers attempted to reach us but as soon as we have that information, we will deal directly with those callers to the best we can and then go from there.”

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