Yakima County 911 center loses power, unable to answer calls - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County 911 center loses power, unable to answer calls for 20 minutes

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YAKIMA, Wash. – The 911 Center serving Yakima County was down for more than an hour Friday and unable to answer calls for 20 minutes.

Wayne Wantland, communications manager for the center says a small explosion inside his system's electrical source caused a "catastrophic" failure of power around 7:30 a.m. Access to computers and radios was lost during this time.

Staff immediately began preparing a backup location at a fire station in the city and had it up and running around 7:50 a.m. An hour later, they were able to return to the 911 Center.

"We have lessons learned," said Wantland. "We're gonna streamline some of the procedures and some of the things to prepare for something like this but you do that every time."

Staff are not sure if any calls went unanswered in that 20-minute gap of service but they never learned of any unresolved emergencies once they were up and running again. They say they were able to handle any emergencies happening around the county in the morning.

When 911 service is lost, anyone needing help should call the direct number for the nearest law enforcement agency or fire department.