Glitch hinders 911 calls in Sequim area

Director: Issue should be resolved by 3 p.m. today

SEQUIM — Emergency calls originating from landlines in the Sequim area have been working sporadically since Wednesday, Peninsula Communications officials said Thursday.

PenCom Director Karl Hatton said the issue should be resolved by 3 p.m. today.

“It appears that it’s a piece of equipment that CenturyLink is responsible for,” Hatton said of the 9-1-1 service disruption, which was first reported in the Diamond Point area at about 8 a.m. Wednesday. He did not know how far east the disruption continued.

A replacement part was scheduled to be installed by CenturyLink by 3 p.m. today, Hatton said.

Cell phones and internet-based VoIP phones were not impacted.

‘Come right through’

“We have no reports of those being compromised, so those should come right through,” Hatton said.

Those who live in east Clallam County and have an emergency should first call 9-1-1, Hatton said. If 9-1-1 doesn’t work, try again.

If the emergency call fails a second time, phone PenCom dispatch at 360-417-2459.

“That will ring to our agency, just not as a 9-1-1 call,” Hatton said.

If you do not have an emergency, do not call 9-1-1 to test the system.

“We’re getting dozens of those,” Hatton said. “If you get through on a test, the potential is you’re blocking someone else who actually has an emergency.”

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office issued a Code Red community alert about the 9-1-1 service disruption Wednesday evening.

“This is very similar to the problem we had with 9-1-1 a few weeks ago,” Undersheriff Ron Cameron said Thursday.

Hatton said a similar service disruption occurred Dec. 16.

“We don’t know if it’s the same equipment,” Hatton said in a Thursday interview.

“The symptoms are similar. We believe it was a CenturyLink equipment issue.”

CenturyLink spokeswoman Kerry Zimmer issued the following statement from the company Wednesday: “We understand there is a service outage due to an equipment issue impacting voice and 9-1-1 services for some customers in the Port Townsend and Sequim areas.”

“Our team is working on the restoration now and we expect services to be fully operational by tomorrow afternoon,” CenturyLink officials said.

PenCom had received reports from citizens saying that the Code Red community alert indicated that 9-1-1 service was impacted in the Port Angeles area, Cameron said.

“This is not true,” Cameron said.

“People west of the State Patrol (detachment at 62 Old Olympic Highway) all the way to the West End have no issue.”

To sign up for Code Red community alerts, go to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office website at clallam.net/sheriff.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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