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Baltimore leaders still trying to figure out why 911 crashed Tuesday night

911 system was out for about 2 hours
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Posted at 6:26 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 22:17:55-04

When you call 911, you expect someone to answer.  But that wasn't the case Tuesday night in Baltimore City.

"We got notification at about 7:47pm," one firefighter said.

City leaders addressed the 911 system failure Wednesday, saying officials worked swiftly after the system went down to make sure the outage was as short as possible.

For more than two hours, emergency callers were told to dial 311 instead of 911.

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"I know how vital it is to have that system in place and working," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

What city officials don't know is what went wrong with the phone lines to begin with.

Verizon maintains the equipment and network for the city, and workers were at the call center troubleshooting the crash overnight Tuesday and during the day Wednesday.

"We're still troubleshooting with Verizon, working with their technical experts,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.  “We expect to have some more concrete answers in the days ahead."

Fire officials say there have been other small glitches with the 911 phone lines.        

Right now, it's not clear if any emergency calls were missed, how many were diverted to 311, or if there was any delay in response time due to the system breakdown.

"I know that no non-fatal shootings or fatal shootings occurred during that time frame, we do know that, but other 911 calls for service that did not come in, we're working with Verizon and working with our call takers and dispatchers to try to get a better handle on that,” Davis said.

In October, the Fire and Police Departments took control of the city 911 system. However, officials say that switch over was not related to Tuesday night's crash.

Editor's Note: File video of Baltimore County 911 Center

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