Austin-Travis county emergency officials are trying to figure out what caused the 9-1-1 system to fail. For 6 hours, the shared call center had to re-route emergency calls.
Not only did the main 9-1-1 call system experience an outage, the backup system also failed. Around 7:45 p.m. everything returned to normal.
Across Austin Monday night, officers staged at busy intersections and in neighborhoods with lights flashing. First responders gathered at the city's emergency operation center. This--after the 9-1-1 call center failed.
"There are back up systems but I understand that's not working either. My understanding is this is something that has never happened before in the city of Austin," said Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
Leffingwell said in a press conference Monday that the center stopped receiving calls at 2 p.m. APD calls were re-routed to Round Rock, Travis County emergency calls sent to Pflugerville, and fire and EMS calls to a call center in Williamson County. City dispatchers were also sent to those locations to help.
Callers were told to prepare for longer wait times.
"Certainly under these circumstances it's important that people be mindful that use 9-1-1 for true emergencies," said City Manager Marc Ott.
By 5 p.m. the system was re-booted and officials were working to test it before sending calls back through. A cause was still unknown.
"There will be a lengthy after-action evaluation done on this so we can understand exactly what happened. Make sure that our advanced preparations worked to the best of the abilities and take the necessary steps to make sure this does not happen again," said APD Chief Brian Manley.
The cause of the outage is still under review.