by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Guam Fire Department was unaware that the island's emergency 911 system was down for nearly an hour this past weekend. GFD Spokesperson Captain Andy Arceo says the outage was a result of a power glitch that occurred before four o'clock Saturday afternoon.
It wasn't until a family checked into the Astumbo Fire Station after repeatedly calling 911 and not getting any response. When asked how is the E-911 system down and nobody is able to know of it at the E-911 center, Arceo said, "We don't have indicators that tell us that the system is down, but what we do have in place now as a result of what happened anytime there is a power fluctuation or a surge all of the stations islandwide will call the Dispatch Center to make sure the system is working. That's what we initiated now as a result of that."
The Guam Power Authority will also inform Dispatch in the event there's a power outage or fluctuation. Captain Arceo admits that prior to Saturday's outage, there was no way to deal with outages. Motorola and GTA TeleGuam are currently working on upgrades to the antiquated E-911 system.
Meanwhile, the fire department encourages residents to call their nearest fire station in the event they can't get through to 911.