911 connection woes plague phone company
Hawaiian Telcom is still working to identify the root cause of problems with 911 calls Monday night.
Yesterday morning, an unrelated problem cropped up, according to the company's spokeswoman, Ann Nishida.
The phone system problems occurred at the Honolulu Police Department, which is one of four public safety answering points on Oahu where 911 calls are routed.
HPD's call center receives the highest volume of calls, an average of 200 an hour, said Lt. Letha DeCaires, third-watch commander of HPD's Communications Division. Of those, about 175 are for police service. The remainder are routed to fire or ambulance.
HPD's center has been temporarily relocated to the Kapolei Station while renovations are being done at the main Alapai Street station.
Persons calling 911 with an emergency Monday night may have gotten an "All circuits are busy, please stay on the line" message.
"That's a person's worst nightmare," DeCaires said.
DeCaires said Hawaiian Telcom worked fast to identify the problem and fixed it last night by 10 p.m. HPD's call center went to a backup phone system at 7 p.m. Prior to that, only emergency calls were being serviced.
Between 8:30 and 9 a.m. yesterday, two of the four call screening stations at HPD's call center were not working. Call screeners could not answer or forward calls.
Nishida said the root cause of 911 troubles Monday and yesterday had not been determined.