Heat Wave Takes Toll on D.C. Region

No Deaths Related to 911 "Total Failure"

Northern Virginia's 911 services supported by Verizon

By Tisha Thompson
|  Monday, Jul 2, 2012  |  Updated 6:17 PM EDT
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There were no reported deaths as a result of the “total failure” of 911 call centers throughout northern Virginia this weekend.

Residents in the City of Manassas, Manassas Park, Vienna and Fairfax and Prince William counties were told to call alternate phone numbers, send emails or drive to their nearest police or fire station if they had an emergency. Some residents in Fairfax and Prince William counties were able to get through Saturday, and some Manassas residents were able to get through beginning Sunday evening.

Northern Virginia’s 911 services are supported by Verizon. A company spokesman said the company had a “commercial power failure” in its “central office in Arlington where there’s a lot of telecommunications equipment.” The power failure impacted Verizon’s “primary and backup power supply.”

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova sent a note to her constituents Monday calling the failure “unacceptable” and promised “that this will be the focus of a serious discussion among elected leaders throughout the region and the Commonwealth.”

News4 contacted all of the impacted areas to find out if there were any deaths, injuries or other close calls.

Prince William County said there was one woman who tried to call 911 several times to report a cardiac arrest before she finally got through, but a spokesman for the county said the patient survived and there were “no adverse effects” from the delay.

Other areas like Manassas Park and the City of Manassas said they didn’t see any “walk-ins” to local police or fire departments and didn’t have any “close calls.”

Fairfax County also says it didn’t have any close calls but did not have specific numbers on the number of people who physically walked or drove to a fire or police station to get help.

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