Repairs begin this week at Moore County 911 Center - WRBL

Repairs begin this week at Moore County 911 Center

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For the fourth time in a month, Moore County's 911 Dispatch Center on Sunday could not receive calls directly.

Damaged equipment caused a phone call outage for about an hour Sunday. The center returned to normal around 9 p.m.

A week earlier, on Aug. 11, the center could not answer calls between 12:45 a.m. and 2:14 a.m.

On Aug. 9 and July 23, the center also had a problem receiving 911 calls. Those first two times, the problem was an issue with the phone lines, which has been addressed.

Moore County Public Safety Director Bryan Phillips said the two more recent problems happened because there was a power outage, and the back-up battery system did not work as it should.

"We are aware of this system," Phillips said. "We figured it out on August 11th when we had the major outage."

Although this most recent power loss was brief, it still caused the computers to shut down. Normally the battery back-up would automatically compensate for the power loss, but components in the system are broken.

Moore County is still waiting on a fix from the supplier.

"We've been getting parts for the last week. They're still waiting on a few parts to come in."

Phillips received word late Monday that the supplier of the back-up battery system would begin repairs on Tuesday.

"I think that's awful," Kisha Crabtree commented about the problems. "Somebody could have died. Somebody that really needed help could have got hurt."

Crabtree, who lives in the Carthage area, has a similar opinion to Doreen Smith. She also lives in Moore County and finds the 911 outages concerning.

"I think it's very important that if you call 911, you get somebody to help you," Smith said.

During the most recent problem, Moore County had the phone company forward 911 calls to the Southern Pines call center. It is just one of the "backups to the backup" that employees got a refresher on last week.

For example, in some situations, the 911 dispatch center may be able to manually re-route calls within the building.  

Moore County is also installing individual battery back-ups at each computer in the 911 call center.

"So we've got several fail-safes that we've tightened up, improved, looked at, and still addressing and continue to look further down the road of how we can make it even stronger," Phillips said.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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