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Updated: Verizon cell phone users unable to call 911

What-Comm 911 emergency communications center facility. Photo courtesy of What-Comm 911

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Department of Emergency Management Director John Gargett said this morning they were notified about 1am this morning, May 31st, that Verizon cell phone customers were experiencing problems when calling 911.

As of 6am, Gargett said the cause had not yet been determined but that “Verizon is working on the issue.”

Verizon customers are advised if they have an emergency to use cell phone from another carrier or a landline phone to call 911. Another option is to call the non-emergency number at 360-676-6911.

People are urged not to call 911 seeking an explanation about what is happening or to test their phone service. This can create another problem as was encountered last December.

Update: 5/31/19 8:30am – the issue has been resolved and Verizon cell phones are able to call 911 again according to What-Comm 911 Deputy Director Greg Erickson.


  1. Candice R Jacobson June 1, 2019

    At no point should 911 be down and people can not call for an emergency. For many, 911 is a lifeline and no one can any longer to be without because some people live in a place that is far from a large town where there is help right away. And, Senior persons have a special need for an emergency that could be a life and death issue as they live their lives. I view taking away 911 in any respect as a “control” issue and it happens because the powers that be can do it. Simply outrageous!

  2. Ryan Walter June 1, 2019

    This is a case of “be careful what you ask for, you might get it”.

    WIRED AT&T PHONE SYSTEM: maybe the most reliable complex system ever built
    MOBILE PHONE SYSTEM: quite reliable, but no direct connections, will fail more often

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