IOWA - Telephone Glitch Affects Some 911 Calls : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Some 911 Errors Occur as Area Code Changes

Franklin County has difficulties, but no other counties report trouble.

By TOM ALEX Register Staff Writer 07/10/2000 Hampton police blamed a 911 telephone glitch in Franklin County on Sunday's switch to the 641 area code in central Iowa.

The police said Sunday that Franklin County 911 was experiencing difficulty receiving some 911 test calls.

A dispatcher said Sunday night that officials had not heard of any missed calls to the emergency line.

Test calls indicated problems in areas near Coulter, Alexander and Latimer in Franklin County. Callers could still reach 911 in those areas, officials said, but on some occasions callers had to hang up and dial again.

Qwest, formerly US West, was working on the problem, authorities said. In case of 911 failure, callers can reach the Franklin County Sheriff's Office at 641-456-2731.

Hampton police asked the public to refrain from making test calls because such calls are a violation of Iowa law.

Qwest spokeswoman Lynn Gipple in Des Moines said she knew of no other problems with the 911 system. She had not received confirmation that the Franklin County problem was related to the switch to the new 641 area code.

"We've been working on this for months and errors can happen," said Gipple. "Maybe there's a glitch in translation that needs to be worked out."

The new 641 area code affects 388 prefixes in 223 towns, including Mason City, Charles City, Iowa Falls, Marshalltown, Newton, Guthrie Center, Osceola and Ottumwa, which were all previously in the 515 area code.

For those who forget, a grace period will allow callers to dial the old 515 area code and still get patched through until Dec. 3.

-- (, July 10, 2000

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