KPD e-News Release: Technical Difficulties Potentially Preventing Some 9-1-1 Calls from Reaching Kingsport Central Dispatch

Kingsport Police Department

200 Shelby Street • Kingsport, TN 37660

ThomasMPatton • 423-229-9433 (Desk) • 423-224-2786 (FAX)

SUBJECT: Technical Difficulties Potentially Preventing Some 9-1-1 Calls from Reaching Kingsport Central Dispatch
DATE: December 16, 2015
Kingsport Central Dispatch learned late today that some area citizens could potentially experience problems reaching 9-1-1 in an emergency. At least two residents in the Rotherwood neighborhood have reported issues. Rotherwood lies in an area that is in Hawkins County inside the city limits of Kingsport. While not absolute, the problem initially appears to be confined to that geographical area.

An unknown issue is preventing some 9-1-1 calls originating from land lines in that neighborhood from reaching Kingsport Central Dispatch. Rather than receiving the familiar greeting of “Kingsport 9-1-1…What is your emergency?” these residents have received an automated recording that indicates that their call is not able to be completed.

Thankfully, thus far, this issue does not appear to have prevented response to any emergencies. Kingsport Central Dispatch is working closely with Century Link, Charter Communications, and AT&T in an attempt to diagnose the problem and get it corrected as soon as possible.

In the meantime, two alternatives are in place to allow individuals to reach Central Dispatch in an emergency. If an individual experiences difficulty reaching 9-1-1, they are advised to immediately hang up and utilize one of the following alternatives:

1) Call the 246-9111 non-emergency line instead of 9-1-1, or

2) Call 9-1-1 by using a cell phone instead of a land line.

Citizens are STRONGLY DISCOURAGED from conducting personal evaluations of their phone lines by calling 9-1-1 as a test, as this could inundate Kingsport Central Dispatch with non-emergency test calls and potentially interfere with true emergency communications.

While this issue appears to only involve an extremely small percentage of residents, this notification is being made city-wide out of an abundance of caution. A follow-up news release will be submitted as soon as the issue is rectified.

Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer

Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit

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