Nobody likes it when their phone service goes down but, when you’re an emergency response center and your 911 service is down, that’s a major, major problem that could even be a matter of life or death.

On Wednesday, Jan. 8, the City of High Point faced such a crisis.

For hours, people in the area who called 911 for help with an emergency merely heard the phone ring and ring – rather than an immediate pickup from a helpful emergency operator as one would hope and expect.

That morning the city sent out a public notice stating, “High Point 9-1-1 has notified North State Communications of a 9-1-1 Line disruption of service. Persons calling 9-1-1 may experience excessive ringing with no answer.  North State Communications currently has technicians working on the issue and will notify High Point 9-1-1 as soon as service is restored.”

That notice went out at 8:34 Tuesday morning but it’s not clear exactly how long the problem went on before that time.

Just over two hours later, at 10:42 a.m., the city sent out the very good news that the service had been restored.  The announcement stated that High Point 911, working with its service partners, had located the issue and been able to restore 911 service.

While the lines were down, the city offered alternative direct numbers to emergency services, and, since this type of outage can happen from time to time, it might be a good idea for citizens to store the needed numbers in their phones should 911 calls not go through in the future.

High Point told citizens who need emergency police or fire services in High Point to call 336-883-3224 if 911 does not work.  For medical assistance, instructions were to contact the Emergency Medical Services Department (EMS) that serves the resident’s county.  They are as follows:

  • Guilford County EMS: 336-373-2222
  • Davidson County EMS: 336-249-0131
  • Forsyth County EMS: 336-727-2222
  • Randolph County EMS: 336-318-6925