Emergency Departments Develop New Strategies Following AT&T Outage

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Emergency dispatchers in the area were caught off guard when they were notified that all AT&T customers in the state couldn't call 911 from their cell phone.

"If you dialed 911 from an AT&T phone it just continuously rang and there wasn't a busy signal or anything so people would think we weren't answering the 911 call," Robert McGowen, emergency director for Benton county said.

Both counties looked to social media to help spread the word, plastering their Facebook and Twitter with non emergency numbers as alternatives.

Director of Washington County emergency department John Luther has requested that all departments solidify seven digit non-emergency numbers in case an outage like this happens again.

After numbers are decided he plans on getting residents familiar with the new system.