9-1-1 emergency line restored

A cell phone about to call 911, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Melanie Borrelli / CTV Windsor)

Residents is some parts of Essex County in need of emergency assistance were left with nowhere to turn for a short time Monday night.

An advisory was sent out at 10:40 p.m. from several emergency services, including OPP, LaSalle Police, Windsor Fire and EMS informing the public the Windsor Central Ambulance Communication Centre was investigating reports of residents unable to contact 9-1-1 by cell phone in the towns of Tecumseh, Essex, Lakeshore, Leamington and Amherstburg.

“We sent out social media and media blast outs to inform the public of what to do in this case,” Essex County OPP const. Steven Duguay explains. “We reverted back to our toll free 1-888-310-1122 number, non-emergent number and then asking the public to call that and we would triage calls and treat them as priority.”

The issue was localized to Essex County and Durguay says there were no major issued reported during the outage.

Duguay says the non-emergency number is province wide, and will connect you to the proper detachment.

“It’s good to have the non-emergency number maybe written on your refrigerator or somewhere in your residence if 911 isn’t available to have that backup,” he said.

“1-888-310-1122. That needs to be a number that is in the top of mind,” says Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald.

She urges residents to learn the non-emergency number, saying recent events like the Wheatley explosion are still fresh in mind.

“There needs to be a push for the public to know that or to at least have it at their fingertips if they don’t know it off by heart they need to have it at their fingertips,” MacDonald says. “Whether it’s public service announcements. Whether its mailing out those little magnetic things you put on the fridge with that number, I think this is something that needs to be done.”

Essex Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter says the problem was reported and rectified quickly, and that service provider officials continue to investigate the cause of the outage.

“I’m satisfied and happy that they got it fixed and I’m also happy that there were no adverse events reported,” he says.