Mower County is working with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks Division to learn the cause behind a disruption to the state’s 911 system.
The event began on Sunday, January 19th and ended in the early morning hours of Monday, January 20th in at least nine public safety answering points or dispatch centers in Mower, Freeborn, Winona, Steele, Wabasha, Goodhue, Dodge, Olmsted and Rice Counties in southeastern Minnesota. CenturyLink is Minnesota’s contracted 911 service provider, and in a press release from Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik, he stated that CenturyLink is investigating the disruption, which started at approximately 8:52 p.m. Sunday evening and was resolved at approximately 1:00 a.m. Monday morning.
During that time, CenturyLink reported that there were 369 missed calls to 911. They believe a connection between a 911 router in Rochester was impacted, but they are still looking into how the disruption occurred.
As the state’s contracted 911 vendor, CenturyLink is required to provide a cause for the disruption to the Department of Public Safety. In addition, the DPS is working with the affected answering points, including Mower County to confirm the time and number of missed calls during the disruption.
Minnesota’s 102 dispatch centers typically receive an average of 7,817 calls per day. The Department of Public Safety oversees the 911 program and is in the fourth year of a five-year, $29.5 million contract with CenturyLink. Sheriff Sandvik stated that while disruptions are rare, he encourages residents of Mower County to have the county’s 10-digit, 24 hour emergency number in your phone or to have it written down near your landline. The number is (507) 437-9400, option 1.