Umatilla County briefly loses emergency dispatch

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PENDLETON -- Umatilla County emergency dispatchers couldn't receive 9-1-1 calls most of Thursday.

At 9:47 a.m., dispatchers lost their dial tone because of a downed fiber-optic line, which resulted in an automatic routing of 9-1-1 calls to Morrow County emergency dispatch.

"Our disaster plan worked the way we wanted it, and we were happy with the outcome. It was kind of quiet in our dispatch center yesterday, but we were scrambling to find out what happened," Umatilla County 9-1-1 Manager Kathy Lieuallen said.

Both counties share the same radio system and computer-aided dispatch, which allows the two counties to serve as backup dispatchers, Lieuallen said.

A crew with Centurylink/Qwest determined that a downed fiber-optic line was the cause and had it fixed around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

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