Green County Emergency Services Keep Functioning Despite Verizon Outage

Wednesday, June 13th 2018, 5:59 pm
By: News On 6

After thousands of Verizon customers were left with no way to call, text or access the internet most of the day, crews finally restored service Wednesday afternoon.

The outage started around 7:00 a.m., and while it was mainly an annoyance for some, certain elements of emergency services across Green Country were impacted.

6/13/2018 Related Story: Verizon Service Restored To Tulsa Emergency Services, Cell Users

"The citizens will not realize we are having any sort of Verizon issue at all," said Office Shane Tuell with the Tulsa Police Department.

Tuell said officers were in the same boat as many people waking up Wednesday morning - all the phones issued to officers from the City are Verizon as well.

“We are still able to function, just not in an advanced technological age right now, because Verizon has been interrupted,” Tuell said.

Police heavily rely on and continued to do so Wednesday, their Motorola radios.

“This is how we get our calls and tell dispatch where we’re at, and check out on the radio when we’re stopping cars,” Tuell said.

Body cameras could still record, but, the laptops inside the police cruisers are on Wi-Fi through Verizon and went down for most of the day, so they went back in time a decade or so.

"Back in the late ‘90s, we would just write on a notepad and any info we got would just go on that pad,” Tuell said. “The younger guys we've hired are going to have to know the trials and tribulations of an older officer."

EMSA also said the work issued phones were down, but, like police, they rely on radio transmission as well and it had no impact on calls or call times.

Area hospitals also said there were no impacts on patients because of the Verizon outage.

The company said, "It was caused by the rare occurrence of two separate fiber cuts on different lines, impacting the redundancy built into our network. Engineers were able to resolve the issue and service was restored by 2 p.m."