Backup plan helps to quickly restore Hardin Co. 911 system
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's not the first time the 911 system has been out in Hardin County, but emergency officials say they learned from their past mistakes and this time they had a plan.
The 911 system in Hardin County is back up and running in less than 24 hours. Officials say the outage was due to an accident where a fiber cable for their service provider, Windstream, was cut. After incidents with flooding in the past, they were prepared so the outage was not nearly as long.
"The worst was in 2006 we had a major and I mean major rainstorm that settled over the city," said Victor Willoughby of the Elizabethtown Police Department.
The director for Hardin County 911 says that caused a lot of problems.
"It knocked out the phone service and all of the phone system basically to be out for a couple of days," said Bob Hammonds.
After past experiences, Hammonds said his predecessor knew they would have to find a way to always answer the call for help.
On Monday, operators found themselves in an emergency situation when the 911 system went down for about 12 hours. The entire system was completely out for around an hour. Alternate numbers were put in place shortly after the problem was found, before the 3-digit system was brought back up this morning.
The director says the quick turnaround was thanks to a multi-step back up plan
"We first had to notify all of our first responder agencies," Hammonds said.
Hammonds said they then had to call every fire department, police department, nursing home and E.M.S. agency of the surrounding counties to let them know about the alternate numbers before the service was restored.
"Social media is a big help," said Willoughby.
Willoughby and Hammonds said the social media helped the public to find out what was going on. Both shared information via the Elizabethtown Police Department Facebook and the Hardin County 911 Center Facebook pages.
"We hit the social media page and started spreading it through Facebook and twitter and it was a process of making sure that there was another number to call," Hammonds said.
Even though Mother Nature was not to blame for this instance, officials are glad they rehearsed the plan.. They said it shortened the amount of time it takes for them to answer that call that could mean life or death.
"We rehearsed it and last night it paid off," Hammonds said.
Hammonds said as far as they know the know, no 911 calls were missed during the outage. Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.