911 center stays open during phone outage

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Lawrence County experienced a phone service outage on Thursday morning.

However, thanks to upgrades, their 911 center was still up and running.

The county's 911 notifications system was able to notify citizens about the outage.

911 Coordinator Paige Van Brook said the upgrades done to their system are not mandatory, but those upgrades helped keep 911 open during the outage.

She said because of software upgrades and their Smart 911 system, operators were still able to communicate during the outage.

"It's amazing, I mean if you have someone that doesn't have phone service and you have to get to them," she said.   "If they have an emergency, emergencies don't stop because the phone stops."

Vanbrook said these upgrades to the 911 system are done on a monthly and sometimes, weekly basis.

The county's tornado sirens and mass notifications system are also updated on a monthly basis.

Vanbrook also stressed the importance of signing up for Smart 911 and notifications for situations like phone service outages.

You can sign up for Smart 911 to get notifications at www.smart911.com.

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