The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center has resolved an issue with its phone systems that began May 15 and affected T-Mobile and VOIP callers and dispatchers’ ability to hear one another.
“We believe this issue has been resolved,” Umatilla County Sheriff Capt. Sterrin Ward reported in a statement Monday, May 22. “Working together with multiple vendors, it was determined to be an issue originating from outside of our dispatch center, as other 911 centers throughout the state also reported issues. Our center will continue to monitor and report any future issues, but for now, it appears to have been resolved.”
The issues were causing situations where neither side of a phone call could communicate with the other, and would disconnect the call shortly afterward, according to Ward. As a way to mitigate the impact, the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office encouraged callers experiencing issues to wait for a call back from dispatch.
“If the dispatcher cannot communicate with a caller and the call is disconnected, the dispatcher will immediately call back the number shown on caller identification,” Ward said. “This is standard protocol, and a dispatch number will always show up as 541-966-3600 when we call back. We urge the public to please answer these callbacks if there is ever an issue.”
Other options when facing technical phone issues with dispatch are to text 911 with an address and location, as well as what type of emergency is ongoing.