Skip to main content

Atlanta’s 911 system continues to experience technical issues. FOX 5 has learned that 911 operators were forced to evacuate the city’s emergency operations center two days ago after an HVAC outage.

Temperatures inside the facility soared to nearly 100 degrees, forcing operators to work remotely at the Fulton County 911 center, separate from dispatchers.

ATLANTA’S 911 CENTER LOSES POWER AGAIN, POLICE SAID CALLS ARE STILL HANDLED

Atlanta 911 Call Center (FOX 5)

A former city manager said the latest problem occurred as managers tried to fix a generator that had caused problems in the past.

Part of the problem is also that Atlanta 911 does not own the building that houses the city’s emergency operations center. This makes building repairs and maintenance more complicated.

CITY COUNCIL RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT ATLANTA 911 CALL CENTER STAFF

Atlanta 911 Call Center

Atlanta 911 Call Center (FOX 5)

A city spokesperson assures FOX 5 that services have not been interrupted.

But former city manager Ken Butler said Atlanta 911 was operating on a shoestring. He said the short-term solution is to install more lines in Atlanta 911 facilities at the airport so they can serve as a reliable backup.

Instead of the secure desktop computers that the city’s call takers are used to using, they attempt to answer citizen calls using laptop computers.

“And what happens when you have a wireless laptop, you get dropped calls,” Butler said. “If it’s your emergency, it’s no good.”

In addition to the limited tools available to Atlanta operators, FOX 5 was on hand Thursday afternoon and saw as many as a dozen staff members stuck in a small room trying to screen incoming calls.

The harsh conditions seemed to make an already stressful job worse. While staff members were told not to speak to a reporter, the union representing call takers cited Covid as another reason these workers should not be on the premises.

A spokesman for Police Chief Rodney Bryant said the Fulton officer who would usually be the relief site is under construction.

Thursday night, it’s unclear how long Atlanta workers will have to squeeze into the small space.

ATLANTA MOVES 911 OPERATIONS TO FULTON COUNTY DUE TO POWER OUTAGE

WATCH: FOX 5 NEWS LIVE COVERAGE