Critical Emergency Services Disrupted: 911 Outages Cause Chaos Across US States

Emergency services across various U.S. states were disrupted late Wednesday, as 911 systems experienced outages, leaving many without access to critical emergency assistance.

What Happened: Several U.S. states, including South Dakota and parts of Nevada, Texas, and Nebraska, faced a 911 emergency services outage. The cause of the disruption remains unknown, Reuters reported.

Officials in South Dakota and Las Vegas confirmed that 911 services were restored, but did not provide details on what caused the failure of the critical emergency infrastructure. The outage affected the entire state of South Dakota and portions of the other states mentioned.

Attempts to get comments from the Department of Transportation’s Office of Emergency Medical Services, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were unsuccessful.

The Department of Homeland Security has previously warned about the heightened risk of cyber attacks on digital 911 services. Past cyberattacks have disrupted 911 systems, including a significant incident in 2017 that affected centers in over a dozen states.

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Local authorities, including the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Douglas County, Nebraska, all reported disruptions. In Las Vegas, police assured that individuals who called during the outage received callbacks and assistance.

In Texas, the Del Rio Police Department alerted via Facebook that their 911 services were down. South Dakota’s Department of Public Safety stated that they were working to resolve the issue, urging the public not to call 911 for testing purposes.

Why It Matters: The recent 911 outages come on the heels of a nationwide service disruption experienced by AT&T Inc. customers. In February, AT&T confirmed that its network was back online after a full day without service, impacting calls, texts, and data usage.

The company clarified that the outage was due to an internal error and not a cyber attack.

Read Next: No More Inventory Discounts On Tesla Cars As CEO Elon Musk Says Sales System Has Turned ‘Complex And Inefficient’

Image via Shutterstock

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