According to the San Angelo Police Department, they received over 200 phone calls alerting them to a power outage last week. All these phone calls tied up 911 phone lines, potentially preventing people from being able to call with emergencies.
Chief Tim Vasquez says, "This particular instance, we had numerous calls coming in from 911 because the power outage was so large and it really tied up that line and we need to keep that open for emergencies."
That line he references being 911. Introduced in 1968 as a universal number to reach assistance, an official 911 website, 911.gov says people are generally less aware of the circumstances where they should not call the emergency line.
Vasquez says, "People could call 911 in reference to the accident that caused the power outage, that would be a 911 type of call, but calling us to tell us, hey there's no power out here on avenue n, you know we're not going to be able to do anything about it."
Chief Vasquez adds that even though you shouldn't call 911, there are non-emergency lines you can call.
Vasquez says, "If we have a power outage, we're going to know. People calling 911 to let us konw the power is out ties up 911 for emergencies that need to come in. If people have a power outage all they need to do is contact aep and usually very quickly, in a matter of minutes, we know that there's a power outage in a particular part of town."
Dana Winter, KLST News>>