Storm Darkens Virginia Call Center but Not a Single Call was LostBy admin on
At 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 27, the National Weather Service upgraded their thunderstorm warning to a severe thunderstorm watch for a number of counties in Virginia, including James City County. Severe thunderstorm watches are rather normal in Virginia during the summer months, so why was this one such a big deal?
Well, the storm knocked out the power to the James City County Emergency Communications Center (ECC). The center’s short-term backup power source kicked in as designed; however, the long-term backup power source failed. When the power supply’s batteries depleted, the center lost power and went dark.
Prior to the James City County ECC losing power, several backup positions were filled at the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg ECC. The call takers logged into the geo-diverse Sentinel Patriot system as James City County ECC call takers and immediately began receiving and processing calls from James City County residents.
If the call center had lost power just a few months ago, James City County residents would have been without 9-1-1 service, but because the James City County and York County officials had the foresight to move to the geo-diverse Sentinel Patriot solution, the James City County ECC was able to deploy several call takers to the York-Poquoson-Williamsburg ECC.
The recent system upgrade provided a seamless integration between the two call centers. Not a single call was lost and the system functioned as designed. As a matter of fact, for James City County residents, it was just another summer thunderstorm.