Spike In 'Phantom' Calls Creates Problems For E-911 System
An unusual problem with Vermont’s Emergency 911 network briefly prevented a number of calls from getting through this week.
For nearly an hour Thursday morning, some calls to Vermont’s E -911 system triggered a series of additional "phantom" calls that appeared to come from the same address and phone number as the original.
They were routed to call-takers who, finding no one at the other end of the line, initiated a procedure in which they try to reach someone at that number.
“That started to, I hate to use the term ‘overwhelm,’ but in some instances cause very heavy traffic,” says Tyler Morse, IT manager for Vermont's Enhanced 911 Board.
In at least one case, emergency personnel were dispatched to an address.
Morse says it appeared 15 legitimate calls may not have gotten through because of the high volume. Those callers were subsequently contacted.
Morse says the problem originated with Intrado, a Colorado-based provider of E-911 services and is being investigated.
He says there were no problems with FairPoint’s system, which had been the source of earlier E-911 outages.