Software glitches and old tech slow down 911 response

There are 1/4 million 911 calls placed in the United States every day and most of them get through. So the System Works pretty well. However, it can be stressful and even frightening when someone calls 911 and no one picks up on the other end. Such problems have happened in both Denver and Dallas.
Software glitches and old tech slow down 911 response

Problems in Denver

In Denver a software glitch left at least one person on hold for five minutes.  The glitch was caused by calls that had already been dealt with being looped back into the system and reported as hang up calls.

911 operators are required to call hangup numbers back as standard procedure, in order to insure that the caller is safe.  This ties up the phone lines causing people who have emergencies to wait on hold.  Calls can be repeatedly looped back into the system causing a tangle that is hard to unwind and locks up the system.  Calls coming in over T Mobile lines were looped through again and again, causing wasted resources and lost time.

T Mobile has been working with Denver authorities to determine the cause of the problem and the number of looped calls has been reduced, but not yet eliminated.

T Mobile issued this statement regarding the issue, " We take our customers security and safety very seriously.  We previously identified an isolated issue and, in collaboration with Denver 911, addressed it.  We will continue working closely with Denver 911 and monitor the situation." Denver authorities want to resolve this issue quickly before the summer months when call volume greatly increases.  Denver authorities have also requested that people not hang up when calling 911 as this only delays their getting help.  It takes longer for 911 operators to call them back than the amount of time they would have to wait on hold.

Denver 911 Executive Director Athena Butler said that the software glitch was a...

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