Butler County's 911 system should be fully operational by Thursday evening, but all county residents are likely able to call 911 for emergencies before the full restoration.
Rob McLafferty, county 911 coordinator, said the county was advised by CenturyLink — the phone company that operates two phone fibers in Maryland and near Philadelphia that were severed, causing the outage — that full service should be restored by 6 p.m. Thursday. Until then, however, the county's contingency plans have been activated such that emergency services can be dispatched when a phone calls 911.
“As far as being able to dial 911, either through the reroutes or through the regular physical lines, everyone in the county should be able to dial 911 without any issue,” McLafferty said.
He said that includes landlines, voice-over-IP phones and mobile phones.
“All phones should be able to dial 911,” he said.
He added that testing of the county's 911 capabilities have been successful in the early afternoon, but noted CenturyLink said not to expect “full restoration” before Thursday evening.
Linda Johnson, a CenturyLink spokeswoman, said the issues caused by the severed line near Philadelphia had been fixed by technicians.
“Our technicians have restored 911 services in all the Pennsylvania counties that were impacted by a recent fiber cut near Philadelphia,” Johnson said. “We appreciate your patience and apologize for the disruption.”
This is a breaking news report — read more in Friday's Butler Eagle.