By Pat Maurer
Clare County along with Isabella, Midland and seven other counties in Northern Michigan reported their 911 Service was out for about an hour and a half Tuesday afternoon according to a post by 9&10 News.
Clare County 911 Director Marlana Terrian said different dispatch centers were affected in different ways. “We were made aware that our service was impaired at 3:37 pm Tuesday and that the problem was resolved and 9-1-1 restored for public use at 5 p.m. During the time it was “out,” she said they “could see a call coming in, but were unable to pick it up.”
She said when that happens, 911 can still be reached by calling their non-emergency number with is 989-539-1336 or by texting 911. “When we can see the number that a call is coming from and are unable to answer, we use our non-emergency line to call them back.”
Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman said their fire station had personnel there in case of an emergency. “When someone is trying to call 9-1-1 and the service is out,” Terrian said, “local fire stations are manned so a person can also go there for help.”
She added that she didn’t know what caused Tuesday’s outage, but that she would receive a report from Michigan 911 “in a week or two.” She added, “We believe it was equipment failure but we will get a report after a full investigation.”
Terrian said the most recent outage/impairment of 911 (before the one on Tuesday) occurred November 22nd 2022. Clare County had minor effects from this outage, it only impaired some of the location information that would normally be delivered to our dispatch center with the 911 call. We were still able to receive and process calls during the November incident. That incident lasted approximately 4.5-5 hrs. The 911 provider’s engineers continued to work through issues into the following days but services were restored that evening.
She said during an outage or interruption last May, the problem was that “We weren’t receiving all the information needed.” She said that lasted “roughly a half hour but Clare County was not affected during that impairment.
“We are trained to react to outages,” Terrian said. It isn’t a regular thing, but she said an outage happens occasionally. “In fact, we had another one this morning (Wednesday),” she said.
The post on Facebook at Clare County Central Dispatch said, “Our 911 provider was performing maintenance this morning due to yesterday’s outage and we are having issues again. Some calls are being delivered but we can’t hear the caller.” She said, “9-1-1 went out at 9:41 am. It was back up by 10:10 and we got an all clear at 10:40 am.”
Terrian said they use Facebook to keep the public informed at “Clare County Central Dispatch.”
A post there on Wednesday said, “If you can’t call or communicate with 9-1-1, there are other ways to reach us: “Call 989-539-1336 to reach dispatch, Text 911 or Go to your local fire hall, firefighters are standing by and can communicate with dispatch via radio.”
When 9-1-1 is not working in Isabella County, an emergency call can be made by calling 989-773-1000. In Midland County the non-emergency number (which can be used) is 989-839-6466 and in Missaukee County, the number to call when 9-1-1 is not available is 231-839-4338.
number to call when 9-1-1 is not available is 231-839-4338.