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Posted at 3:52 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Arlington, Fairfax 911 systems back

By Washington Post editors

Officials in Fairfax say normal operations have been restored for its 911 system.

Beginning about 9:10 a.m. Friday, an electronic equipment malfunction in the county's switching office redirected 911 calls, said Harry J. Mitchell, a Verizon spokesman. The equipment failure also led to some problems with voicemail access for some customers in the area.

1:40 p.m.

Officials with Arlington County's Office of Emergency Management says that the 911 system is back in operation.

"Gotten word from Verizon that the 911 system is repaired and everything is back to normal,"said Brian Geraci with Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management.

Earlier post

Arlington County officials said they are working with Verizon officials to determine what caused problems Friday with its 911 system -- and in neighboring jurisdictions.

Debbie Powers, a spokeswoman for Arlington County's Office of Emergency Management, said calls are still coming in, either through 911 or a 10 digit alternate number.

"What we know to this point, we are currently experiencing an intermittent problem…It is a Verizon issue. It is a regional issue," Powers said. "We think other jurisdictions are experiencing this off and on. We have no idea what the problem is and Verizon doesn’t know what the problem is as of yet and they are working to fix it."

Arlington's Emergency Communications Center also receives 911 calls from the City of Falls Church.

A special Verizon 911 team also is working on Fairfax's system, which began having issues around 9 a.m. with both wire and wireless phone calls coming into the system, said Jim Person, a Fairfax County spokesman.

"Some folks can get through and some folks can't," he said.

All calls are still coming through and the staff is dispatching emergency personnel.

Fairfax's Public Safety Answer Point handles all 911 calls in Fairfax County, the towns of Vienna and Herndon and the City of Fairfax.

If you need assistance in Arlington, call 703-741-3035. If you need assistance in Fairfax, call 703-691-2233.

11:56 a.m.
Arlington County has also issued an alert saying they are currently experiencing intermittent problems with its 911 system. Earlier Friday, Fairfax County had issued an alert saying they were having problem with their 911 system.

Janice Frer, a supervisor with the Arlington Emergency Communications Center, said the problems are intermittent. She said they have not yet determined what is causing the problem.

If you need assistance in Arlington, call 703-741-3035. If you need assistance in Fairfax, call 703-691-2233.

Fairfax Co. experiencing 911 problems
10:30 a.m.
Fairfax County is currently experiencing intermittent problems with its 911 system. Individuals who need 911 assistance should call 703-691-2233 for assistance.

By Washington Post editors  | February 18, 2011; 3:52 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Virginia  
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This story takes on a more serious aspect when one sees that the Federal Communications Commission today announced it opened an investigation into what it says were 10,000 blocked 9-1-1 calls in Maryland during the January snowstorm.

It would appear more than likely that Verizon has a perhaps significant level of problems in the Enhanced 9-1-1 (E 9-1-1) portion of its network in the Metro DC area.

We report on the FCC action, and link to your blog post on

Local public safety officials should join the FCC in digging into this issue, quickly.

Posted by: pjpratt | February 18, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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