December 27, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
Two days after the explosion of an RV outside an AT&T transmission building in Nashville, 911 cell phone service has not yet been fully restored in much of Middle Tennessee including DeKalb County although progress has been made.
“In DeKalb County, AT&T provided and deployed a mobile cellular unit Saturday at our request to provide network access to first responders,” said Bradley Mullinax, Director of the DeKalb County E-911 Center.
“DeKalb 911 is utilizing a backup call notification system that will notify us when we have received a 911 call from a connected cell phone. We then call that phone back to determine the emergency. This has been extremely helpful in several situations already,” Mullinax said.
Due to the outage, anyone with an emergency needing to call 911 is urged to use a landline rather than a cell phone or call the DeKalb Central Dispatch non-emergency line at 615-215-3000 until further notice.
“911 professionals across the state have been working around the clock to restore services in Nashville but we still do not have a timeline on full restoration of services,” said Mullinax.
“The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board held conference calls with 911 districts Saturday to establish the extent of outages in each county. Everyone has been affected a little differently. Many different teams from AT&T have been activated across the country to render aid”.
“AT&T continues to provide updates to us multiple times during the day on the repairs and restoration of service,” Mullinax continued.
“This has been a very difficult time for 911 in Tennessee and we are doing our best to ensure the safety of our community. Please continue to use our non-emergency number at 615-215-3000 to reach our call center or simply call 911 from your home phone. Again, we are not receiving connected calls from cellphones or from voice over IP telephone services such as Comcast, Vonage, etc. With that being said, if your phone depends on an internet connection to make a call, then it is unlikely your call will be completed to 911. We would like to thank ATT for providing this mobile cell unit to keep our first responders connected,” Mullinax concluded.