Okla. County Addresses 911 Service Failures


Bob Gibbins | | Friday, May 2, 2008

TALEQUAH, Okla. -- The head of the Cherokee County (Okla.) 911 service said Wednesday he hopes problems in reaching the emergency service will be repaired soon.

Local residents who have cell phone service through a pair of companies are getting their calls sent to another county and re-routed back to Tahlequah.

Darryl Maggard, 911 coordinator, said the problem is actually nationwide and not limited to local service. It was discovered locally when a student fell earlier in the day at the Tahlequah High School track and an ambulance was needed.

"The person calling 911 was told it wasn't a working number," Maggard said.

He later learned TCS, a Seattle, Wash.-based company providing service for the 911 network, was installing some computer software when the crash occurred.

"Anyone who could tell me anything about how long it'll take to fix was busy trying to fix it," he said.

Maggard the problem only affects AT&T and T-Mobile cell phone customers. All other companies in Oklahoma are working properly.

"You can call 911 on AT&T or T-Mobile from here, but your call will go to Tulsa County," Maggard explained. "The Tulsa dispatchers know how to route the call back to Cherokee County."

He said the 911 service problems are not related to issues other area 911 services have experienced recently.

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