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Dispatchers: Don’t call 911 to see if it’s working

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Emergency dispatch agencies in Jackson and Josephine counties are asking locals not to test their access to 911 without an actual emergency.

Verizon wireless subscribers across the West Coast got alerts Wednesday about intermittent service disruptions, according to national news outlets and press releases from emergency dispatch agencies in Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon stated in an official social media post made at 9:14 p.m. Wednesday that its testing found no signs of an outage. Further, no wireless carriers had reported any outages to them.

“Please do not call 911 to test your cellphones,” the ECSO post stated. “If you have an emergency and cannot reach 911 via a voice call, you can send a text message to 911.”

Grants Pass police stated in a press release at 8:14 p.m. that there was “disruption of regular 911 services to cellular phones,” but it “does not affect all phone providers.” Dispatchers said there’s “no reason for citizens to call 911” if they’re only testing their connectivity.

The Grants Pass dispatch center got “numerous calls from citizens trying their ability to reach 911,” according to the Wednesday evening release.

“Please do not call 911 unless you have an emergency,” Grants Pass dispatchers advised.

According to Humboldt County, California, dispatchers, Verizon customers were apparently unable to place or receive voice calls around 2 p.m. Wednesday, but could still send and receive text messages, according to a post from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. Service was restored by about 9 a.m. Thursday.