Answers hard to come by in Cleveland 911 call problem

Answers hard to come by in Cleveland 911 call problem

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - If you called Cleveland Police on either their non-emergency or 911 lines all you heard on Saturday night from 6:57 p.m. to 7:12 p.m. was the phone ringing but calls still couldn't go to EMS.

Everything was back up at 7:20 p.m.

On Tuesday the system went down at 12:39 a.m. and came back up at 1:07 a.m. at the dispatch center, the scene was described by those there as eerily quiet.

But the city denied it in a statement, saying "Based on a review of the call report, no calls were missed from 911."

CPPA President Steve Loomis was on the phone with workers at the call center who said there was an outage, and not the first or second time it's happened saying, "No it's not an isolated incident."

Answers escaped not only us, but City Council's Safety Committee, where no top official of Police, Fire or EMS attended Tuesday.

Not unprecedented, but unusual.

Council member Michael Polensek had heard about the outage, so had Committee Chairman Matt Zone who said he too was having trouble getting answers.

Councilman Zack Reed heard about it at a community meeting and in fact got a notice from ATT about it which said "If we needed to call police do not call the 7 digit number call 911 and then we heard the 911 was down."

A question that seems obvious but so far is unanswered is what caused the outage.

Did the ATT problem simply overload the system? Most importantly what can be done to avoid a repeat?

Turns out ATT did an upgrade a couple of hours before problems began.

The county's CECOM's system, Lakewood and Cleveland had problems, Cleveland's the most severe.

Again the city says no calls were lost.

Councilman Reed and others want the Safety Committee to hold a hearing saying, "It's a very scary situation and I'm hoping what we are going to do
as a committee, as a community is delve into it."

We checked and fortunately no serious calls for service were missed.

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