Verizon users in Miles City have trouble reaching 911

Wire And Staff Reports
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

BILLINGS (AP) — Some cellphone users in parts of Montana have been experiencing problems making emergency calls, including in Miles City.

The disruption for Verizon Wireless customers dialing 911 has also been reported in Billings and Bozeman, The Associated Press reported today.

According to Lyne Anderson, supervisor at the Miles City 911 Dispatch Center, callers in Miles City are also experiencing issues. The dispatch center also serves all of Custer and Garfield counties.

“Individuals are saying that it took them two or three times dialing 911 for the connection to be made,” Anderson said in an email to the Miles City Star this morning.

Anderson said she hadn’t heard of the problem causing any delays for local emergency responders.

That’s not the case in the Billings area, where Anne Kindness, manager of the dispatch center for Billings and Yellowstone County, said that 911 callers there have been receiving a message since the weekend that their calls cannot be completed.

She says callers couldn't get through to report crashes, disturbances and medical assistance requests.

Gallatin County dispatchers are rerouting 911 calls to non-emergency lines. County officials say callers who get a busy signal should keep trying until the call is answered.

Verizon spokesman Steve Van Dinter says the problem is limited to dispatchers being unable in some cases to collect phone number and location information from calls.

Kindness says that is wrong and she can't explain the company's position.

(Star staff writer Ashley Wise contributed to this story. Contact her at starnews@midrivers.com or 406-234-0450.)

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