911 call services restored after outage for most of Lane County

EUGENE, Ore. -- The 911 emergency phone lines went down for the Central Lane Service Area after a power outage Friday afternoon.

Officials said the dispatch center, which covers most of Lane County, was unable to answer emergency and non-emergency calls for about 40 minutes. Backup power sources were used to restore the service.

Eugene Police Lieutenant Eric Klinko said the communication center's first priority is keeping 911 open and accessible to the public. An employee from the call center went to the Lane County Sheriff's Dispatch Center (which was still online) to help cover incoming 911 calls, Lt. Klinko said.

"Luckily at this point we aren't aware of any unfortunate circumstances that resulted from the 911 line being down," Lt. Klinko told our news staff Saturday morning. "Right now we are still on a couple of backup systems while they troubleshoot and figure out what happened."

Eugene Police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said technicians are still working to find out what is causing the outage.

"In the meantime, the back up provisions that are planned for these type of unique situations, ensure continued 9-1-1 service to the public," McLaughlin said.

The Central Lane Communication Center handles around 90 percent of the emergency calls for Lane County, as well as the calls for 17 of the rural fire stations.

During the outage, police officials asked anyone experiencing an emergency to go to the nearest fire or police station for assistance.

"It is always a good idea to have a backup plan in place, because there may be circumstances outside our control where the system is unavailable," Lt. Klinko said. "Things will be done very thoroughly to identify what caused this and how we can prevent it from happening."