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Maintenance work affects 911 service in two Kansas counties

July 25, 2021 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Maintenance work affected 911 emergency call service in two Kansas counties over the weekend.

Sedgwick County officials said Sunday that callers to 911 in the Wichita area heard a recording instead of reaching a live dispatcher overnight Saturday, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many calls were affected. Officials said Shawnee County’s 911 call center in Topeka was also affected by the outage.

Sedgwick County said the outage was caused by work AT&T was doing on its phone system that wasn’t supposed to cause problems for the emergency call centers, according to The Wichita Eagle.

Sedgwick County officials said they discovered the problem after they received a call about the issue on an administrative phone line, but they didn’t say when they learned about it.

Sedgwick County Emergency Communications Director Elora Forshee said officials are working to learn more about how the outage happened so similar problems can be prevented.

In the future, the county plans to move 911 calls over to its internal backup system any time there is maintenance work being done on the phone system.