Path 27
News

911 Call Centers Shuttered To Prevent Spread of COVID, Residents Given New Number To Dial

Path 27

Chaos erupted in Puerto Rico this week after the island’s two 911 centers were closed because two employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

The shutdown took place Wednesday night, according to The New York Times.

While the centers were closed, residents were given two other numbers to use if they needed an ambulance or the police.

“To report emergency situations, [residents] should call 787-724-0124. The dispatch staff will channel calls with the corresponding municipal or state response agencies for each emergency,” Pedro Janer, the public safety secretary, said in a statement, according to WAPA-TV.

“Similarly, they can call 787-343-2020 to communicate directly with the police.”

Trending:
Simone Biles Speaks Out After Pulling Out of Team Competition

But soon, many Puerto Rico residents overloaded the two numbers not to report emergencies, but just to see if the numbers really worked.

Callers to one number were given “a recording asking them to call 911 for an emergency. Then the recording provided callers with a directory,” The Associated Press reported.

That did not sit well.

“This is serious,” Nazario Lugo, president of Puerto Rico’s Association of Emergency Managers, told the AP on Wednesday.

Do you think the Puerto Rican government handled this well?

Kiara Hernández, a spokeswoman for Puerto Rico’s Public Safety Department, would not comment Wednesday regarding why calls were not simply automatically routed to another number.

“It’s an option that’s being evaluated,” she said at the time.

CBS reporter David Begnaud soon became a link in the government communication chain, as he sent out a tweet urging people to stop calling the emergency numbers unless they really had an emergency.

Related:
Olympic Gymnast Circumvents Rules by Sneaking Black Lives Matter Protest Into Her Routine

Begnaud later noted that the chain of errors could have been avoided.

By Thursday, the alternative numbers were no longer necessary because the emergency management bureau had figured out how to use call forwarding so that residents could continue to dial 911.

It is unclear how long the centers will be down.

Janer said decontamination must take place first.

“The date on which they will resume operations will be reported shortly,” he said in a statement.

Employees who came into contact with their sick colleagues went into isolation and were set to be tested.

The spread of the disease in Puerto Rico is so high that the Centers for Disease Control has put the island at Warning Level Three, and has discouraged all non-essential travel to it.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , ,
Path 27
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




loading

Conversation