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Dealing with 911 Outage

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- Being able to call 911 from a cell phone during an emergency is a big convenience, but what happens when the technology behind the system fails? 
Johnson County Joint Emergency Communications Center Director Tom Jones says that's what happened last Friday night, when a glitch occurred in the state-wide wireless system, causing calls to both Linn and Johnson counties to be rerouted through Des Moines. 
Des Moines dispatchers then had to call back to Linn and Johnson counties and relay emergency information, cutting into the valuable time that first responders have to get to a situation, Jones said. 
In the case of a wireless 911 outage, people should call the local non-emergency number for their county. Those calls will then get priority and emergencies will be responded to more quickly, Jones said. 
"Because I can't place a value on seconds or minutes for someone experiencing that emergency for what it means to them to get a quicker response," Jones said. 
Call the Johnson County non-emergency line at 319-356-6800. Call the Linn County non-emergency line at 319-892-6100. 

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