CenturyLink Outage | 9-1-1 Centers Back Up, Continues For Others

UPDATED – 12/31/2018 – 2350 PST

Nationwide | A nationwide phone and internet outage interrupted mostly 911 call centers, several medical facilities, a Department of Corrections jail, ATM machines and the list goes on occurred on Thursday, December 27th and well into a few days thereafter.

911 Centers Up, Outages Continue for Others

It is said that most or all of the 911 call centers are fully operational again but some residential customers are reporting outages on New Year’s Eve as of 2206 PST.  Some of these customers are said to be in New Mexico, Ohio, Boise (ID), Peoria & Scottsdale (AZ).

Some customers are venting their frustrations on Social Media with the internet/phone/security giant telling them that there are no outages and there must be a phone with their home.

States That Were Impacted

The following as of this morning’s post is impacting 911 centers, commercial and residential customers in WA, OR, UT, CO, CA, TX, AZ, NV, IL, NM, MN, MI, NE, ID, OH, NC, IA, GA and IN.

Preliminary reports state that there was a problem with their Colorado site sending out bad packet information that caused the internet and phone lines to go down.

The FCC is currently investigating.

Washington State Emergency Phone Numbers 

Some of you may run into a busy signal or find that it is difficult to get through 911. If this is the case, here are some local phone numbers to call.  As far as we have been told, there are no current outages impacting any 9-1-1 centers.

Chelan – Douglas Counties (Dispatch). 509-663-9911

Clallam County (Dispatch).  360-417-2259

Clark County 911.  This is for those in Clark County, Vancouver.  360-693-3111 or can text 911 or 311.

Coast Guard Sector – Puget Sound.  206-217-6001.

Enumclaw PD Dispatch.  360-825-3505.

Sammamish / Issaquah PD Dispatch.  425-888-3333.

Jefferson County Dispatch.  360-385-3831

King County Sheriff’s Office.  206-296-3311.  This is for those who are in the areas of the King County International Airport, KC Transit, Sound Transit,  Beaux Arts Village, Burien, Carnation, Kenmore, Maple Valley,  Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Seatac, Newcastle, Sammamish, Shoreline, Skykomish and Woodinville.

Kitsap County Sheriff Dispatch.  360-308-5400.

Kittitas County Dispatch.  509-925-8534.

Mason County Dispatch.  360-426-4441.

Pierce Co 911.  253-798-4721.

Pierce Co Fire & EMS.  253-588-5217.

Puyallup Police.  253-798-4722.

Redmond Police Dispatch.  253-798-4722.

Renton Fire.  425-430-7000 staffing line. ** Currently, reporting as not impacted by outage. **

Seattle 911 Center (Police).  206-583-2111 or 206-625-5011. Text 911.

Seattle Fire.  206-583-2111.

SNOCOM. 425-407-3911. Snohomish County.

WSP.  Snohomish, Skagit, Island Counties.  360-654-1204.  Whatcom County.  360-676-6911.   Yakima County.  509-457-0207.  Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla.  509-628-0333.

Social Media

We will continue to follow this developing story as more information is received.

Thank you for reading our post. 

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog

Century Link’s Outage | Update 3

UPDATED – 12/28/2018 @ 1155 Hours PST

Nationwide | A nationwide phone and internet outage interrupted mostly 911 call centers, several medical facilities, a Department of Corrections jail, ATM machines and the list goes on.

Here are CenturyLink’s updates via this timeline:

December 28, 2018 – Friday

1152 PST :  While our network is experiencing service disruptions, where CenturyLink is the 911 service provider 911 calls are completing.

1014 PST:  We are aware of some 911 service disruptions affecting various areas through the United States. In case of an emergency, customers should use their wireless phones to call 911 or drive to their nearest fire station or emergency facility. Technicians are working to restore services.

0901 PST:  Restoring impacted services for our customers is very important to us. We are seeing good progress, but our service restoration work is not complete. Our teams are continuing their efforts to resolve these issues and we will continue to provide updates throughout the day.

0745 PST:  We are seeing good progress, but our service restoration work is not complete. Our teams are continuing their efforts to resolve these issues and we will continue to provide updates throughout the day.

0338 PST:  We discovered some additional technical problems as our service restoration efforts were underway. We continue to make good progress with our recovery efforts and we are working tirelessly until restoration is complete. We apologize for the disruption.

0123 PST:  We’re seeing positive progress with our service restoration efforts and our recovery plan is being accelerated as much as possible. We are working tirelessly around the clock until restoration is complete. We apologize for any inconvenience this disruption is causing our customers.

December 27, 2018 – Thursday

2033 PST (8:33pm):  CenturyLink engineers and technicians have identified a network element that was impacting customer services and are addressing the issue in order to fully restore services. We estimate that services will be fully restored within four hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused our customers.

1707 PST (5:07pm):  The CenturyLink network is still experiencing a disruption of services across multiple locations. CenturyLink engineers and technicians are working to address the issue.

1432 PST (2:32pm): The CenturyLink network is still experiencing a disruption affecting customer services. The CenturyLink technical teams will continue to work around the clock until services are restored.

1006 PST (10:06am):  Our network is experiencing a disruption affecting customer services. We understand some customers are currently unable to generate tickets through the CenturyLink help portal. We know how important these services are to our customers and we are working to restore services as quickly as possible.

December 24, 2018 – Merry Christmas from CenturyLink

Merry Christmas everyone:   Our CenturyLink Help team would like to wish you a very #HappyHolidays! We will be closed today, Tuesday, December 25th, and will be back tomorrow at 7 AM CT. While we’re out, our tech support team is available 24/7 at 1-800-788-3600.

Current States Impacted

The following as of this morning’s post is impacting 911 centers, commercial and residential customers in WA, OR, UT, CO, CA, TX, AZ, NV, IL, NM, MN, MI, NE, ID, OH, NC, IA, GA and IN.

According to several websites reporting on outages, they are stating the following for CenturyLink as customers reporting Internet outage (64% of customers), phone (19%) and total blackout (15%).  This was as of 1204  hours PST on Friday, December 28th.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink is a service provider nationally that offers Internet (through PrismTV brand), TV (through DirectTV), phone and home security services to homes and business in 37 states.

The company purchased Embarq in 2009, Qwest in 2010 and Savvis in 2012.

Washington State Emergency Phone Numbers (when 911 is not working)

Chelan – Douglas Counties (Dispatch). 509-663-9911

Clallam County (Dispatch).  360-417-2259

Clark County 911.  This is for those in Clark County, Vancouver.  360-693-3111 or can text 911 or 311.

Coast Guard Sector – Puget Sound.  206-217-6001.

Enumclaw PD Dispatch.  360-825-3505.

Sammamish / Issaquah PD Dispatch.  425-888-3333.

Jefferson County Dispatch.  360-385-3831

King County Sheriff’s Office.  206-296-3311.  This is for those who are in the areas of the King County International Airport, KC Transit, Sound Transit,  Beaux Arts Village, Burien, Carnation, Kenmore, Maple Valley,  Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Seatac, Newcastle, Sammamish, Shoreline, Skykomish and Woodinville.

Kitsap County Sheriff Dispatch.  360-308-5400.

Kittitas County Dispatch.  509-925-8534.

Mason County Dispatch.  360-426-4441.

Pierce Co 911.  253-798-4721.

Pierce Co Fire & EMS.  253-588-5217.

Puyallup Police.  253-798-4722.

Redmond Police Dispatch.  253-798-4722.

Renton Fire.  425-430-7000 staffing line. ** Currently, reporting as not impacted by outage. **

Seattle 911 Center (Police).  206-583-2111 or 206-625-5011. Text 911.

Seattle Fire.  206-583-2111.

SNOCOM. 425-407-3911. Snohomish County.

WSP.  Snohomish, Skagit, Island Counties.  360-654-1204.  Whatcom County.  360-676-6911.   Yakima County.  509-457-0207.  Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla.  509-628-0333.

Social Media

We will be digging deeper into this story and update as more information is received.  Please check our Twitter page @nwfireblog for phone numbers.  You can also check on twitter’s incident hashtags #911Outage and #911Outage2018 for non-emergency phone  numbers for emergencies.6-7500

Thank you for reading our post. We appreciate you being here with us and remember to check out the Dispatch and Communications Center phone numbers to call for emergencies.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog – updated 12/31/2018 2350 PST

Century Link’s Outage | Still Impacting Customers, 911 Centers

UPDATED – 12/28/2018 @ 0750 (7:50am) Hours PST

Nationwide | CenturyLink headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana is still trying to resolve a nationwide outage that started on Thursday, December 27th just after 0900 hours PST.

Current States Impacted

The following as of this morning’s post is impacting 911 centers, commercial and residential customers in WA, OR, UT, CO, CA, TX, AZ, NV, IL, NM, MN, MI, NE, ID, OH, NC, IA, GA and IN.

According to several websites reporting on outages, they are stating the following for CenturyLink as customers reporting Internet outage (64% of customers), phone (19%) and total blackout (15%).  This was as of 1204  hours PST on Friday, December 28th.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink is a service provider nationally that offers Internet (through PrismTV brand), TV (through DirectTV), phone and home security services to homes and business in 37 states.

The company purchased Embarq in 2009, Qwest in 2010 and Savvis in 2012.

Washington State Emergency Phone Numbers (when 911 is not working)

Chelan – Douglas Counties (Dispatch). 509-663-9911

Clallam County (Dispatch).  360-417-2259

Clark County 911.  This is for those in Clark County, Vancouver.  360-693-3111 or can text 911 or 311.

Coast Guard Sector – Puget Sound.  206-217-6001.

Enumclaw PD Dispatch.  360-825-3505.

Sammamish / Issaquah PD Dispatch.  425-888-3333.

Jefferson County Dispatch.  360-385-3831

King County Sheriff’s Office.  206-296-3311.  This is for those who are in the areas of the King County International Airport, KC Transit, Sound Transit,  Beaux Arts Village, Burien, Carnation, Kenmore, Maple Valley,  Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Seatac, Newcastle, Sammamish, Shoreline, Skykomish and Woodinville.

Kitsap County Sheriff Dispatch.  360-308-5400.

Kittitas County Dispatch.  509-925-8534.

Mason County Dispatch.  360-426-4441.

Pierce Co 911.  253-798-4721.

Pierce Co Fire & EMS.  253-588-5217.

Puyallup Police.  253-798-4722.

Redmond Police Dispatch.  253-798-4722.

Renton Fire.  425-430-7000 staffing line. ** Currently, reporting as not impacted by outage. **

Seattle 911 Center (Police).  206-583-2111 or 206-625-5011. Text 911.

Seattle Fire.  206-583-2111.

SNOCOM. 425-407-3911. Snohomish County.

WSP.  Snohomish, Skagit, Island Counties.  360-654-1204.  Whatcom County.  360-676-6911.   Yakima County.  509-457-0207.  Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla.  509-628-0333.

Social Media

We will be digging deeper into this story and update as more information is received.  Please check our Twitter page @nwfireblog for phone numbers.  You can also check on twitter’s incident hashtags #911Outage and #911Outage2018 for non-emergency phone  numbers for emergencies.

Emergency is defined as a FIRE/EMS event which is LIFE-THREATENING/PROPERTY THREATENED (i.e. heart pain, gunshot, short of breath, allergic reactions, fire, etc.) or for POLICE event that is LIFE/PROPERTY SAFETY issue (i.e. crime in progress, shooting, stolen vehicle, personal safety, etc.).

Thank you for reading our post. We appreciate you being here with us and remember to check out the Dispatch and Communications Center phone numbers to call for emergencies.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog

Century Link’s Outage | Impacting 911 Centers Nationwide

UPDATED – 12/28/2018 @ 00:30 PST or 12:30 AM

Nationwide | This is not the first time a CenturyLink outage has disrupted 911 Centers across the United States and Thursday’s event appears to have been the worst one yet.

Major Outage Prompts Large Fines

In 2014, a third-party vendor Intrado now known as West Safety Services experienced a major outage affecting 911 centers in Washington State and Minnesota leading to a $17.4 Million fine to Century Link.  This outage affected 6,600 911 calls in seven states – and those are the ones that were known.

Second Outage Bigger than First

On August 1, 2018, a second outage affected 911 centers starting in Minnesota and later impacting those in North Carolina and North Dakota.  Others alerted that they too in Ohio and Louisiana could not take 911 calls in their states. Several media stories were published on August 2nd and later, wrote about this interruption.  They stated that many Agencies were investigating along with Century Link whom a certain amount to provide a response to what occurred.

The outage lasted for about one hour.

The cause was said to be a human error at third-party provider, West Safety Services, a Nebraska  company that is contractor to CenturyLink.

West Safety Services stated to halt all work in the month of August, as they looked into changing its procedures to make sure this type of error never happens again.

The FCC was in the process of investigating this latest incident, as well other agencies.  No word as to what the outcome of that investigation was said to be.  This would not be the last outage for CenturyLink.

And, then there is today December 27th with another outage…..

Third Outage Grows Bigger than Last

A little over four months later in the same year of 2018, on Thursday, December 27 to be exact has now been considered the biggest and more extensive outage than the previous ones put together.  It is now said to be impacting Washington State, Texas, Montana, North Carolina, Idaho and others.

Not only are 911 centers impacted but some have reported issues with ATM machines in Idaho and Montana.  A reported temporary phone shutdown at Idaho’s Department of Corrections and the State’s Department of Education occurred.   One medical facility in Colorado reported unable to retrieve online medical records having to resort to old school methods of pencil and paper in documenting patient information.

Current Outage Status

According to CenturyLink’s website, the outage is due to service disruption to the external cloud network.  The problem started on Thursday, December 27th around 0918 hours or just a little after 9 am this morning. We say this is the worst outage because we are talking that it will be almost twenty-four hours seriously impacting many agencies, businesses, organizations and most important, Public Safety.

Their last update states at 8:40 pm or 2040 PST, the following:

“CenturyLink engineers and technicians have identified a network element that was impacting customer services and are addressing the issue in order to fully restore services. We estimate that services will be fully restored within four hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused our customers.”

This would bring services back online around 12:40 PST am on Friday, December 28th or commonly known as 00:40 hours.

Washington State Emergency Phone Numbers (when 911 is not working)

Chelan – Douglas Counties (Dispatch). 509-663-9911

Clallam County (Dispatch).  360-417-2259

Clark County 911.  This is for those in Clark County, Vancouver.  360-693-3111 or can text 911 or 311.

Coast Guard Sector – Puget Sound.  206-217-6001.

Enumclaw PD Dispatch.  360-825-3505.

Sammamish / Issaquah PD Dispatch.  425-888-3333.

Jefferson County Dispatch.  360-385-3831

King County Sheriff’s Office.  206-296-3311.  This is for those who are in the areas of the King County International Airport, KC Transit, Sound Transit,  Beaux Arts Village, Burien, Carnation, Kenmore, Maple Valley,  Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Seatac, Newcastle, Sammamish, Shoreline, Skykomish and Woodinville.

Kitsap County Sheriff Dispatch.  360-308-5400.

Kittitas County Dispatch.  509-925-8534.

Mason County Dispatch.  360-426-4441.

Pierce Co 911.  253-798-4721.

Pierce Co Fire & EMS.  253-588-5217.

Puyallup Police.  253-798-4722.

Redmond Police Dispatch.  253-798-4722.

Renton Fire.  425-430-7000 staffing line. ** Currently, reporting as not impacted by outage. **

Seattle 911 Center (Police).  206-583-2111 or 206-625-5011. Text 911.

Seattle Fire.  206-583-2111.

SNOCOM. 425-407-3911. Snohomish County.

WSP.  Snohomish, Skagit, Island Counties.  360-654-1204.  Whatcom County.  360-676-6911.   Yakima County.  509-457-0207.  Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla.  509-628-0333.

Social Media

We will be digging deeper into this story and update as more information is received.  Please check our Twitter page @nwfireblog for phone numbers.  You can also check on twitter’s incident hashtags #911Outage and #911Outage2018 for non-emergency phone  numbers for emergencies.

Emergency is defined as a FIRE/EMS event which is LIFE-THREATENING/PROPERTY THREATENED (i.e. heart pain, gunshot, short of breath, allergic reactions, fire, etc.) or for POLICE event that is LIFE/PROPERTY SAFETY issue (i.e. crime in progress, shooting, stolen vehicle, personal safety, etc.).

Thank you for reading our post. We appreciate you being here with us and remember to check out the Dispatch and Communications Center phone numbers to call for emergencies.

(c) 2018 NW Fire Blog

Job Opportunities | June 2, 2017

FIRE

Firefighter (Entry-Level).  City of Renton (Washington).  61,656-82,716/year.  Continous openings.  https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/rentonwa/jobs/1752497/firefighter-entry-level  

Firefighter.  Valley Regional Fire Authority (Auburn, Washington).  $68,865 / year.   Details on weblink https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Public-Safety-Testing/jobs/Valley-Regional-Fire-Authority-08797bb2252c1cad?sjdu=QwrRXKrqZ3CNX5W-O9jEvQ0aYBHvL1r2MJ8DAKTetgQPcx6JJyyibfdK1-jB8AaZ_bzyve7ze90L968zGTBtyfFF95Wcx7QcmP4dG30gEmWnl02Yd2Xf49TXskDlUFU2

Fire Protection Operations Manager.  Boeing Aerospace (Seattle, Washington).  https://jobs.boeing.com/job/-/-/185/4763220?utm_source=Indeed&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=Indeed

Wildland Fire Prevention Tech (Forest Tech).  WA Dept. of Natural Resources (Wenatchee (( Chelan County )) Washington). $31,224.00 – $40,428.00 Annually.  Closes 6/11/2017.  https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/washington/jobs/1754028-0/wildland-fire-prevention-technician-forest-technician

Wildland Fire Fighter.  PatRick Inc (Seattle, Washington).  $11.00 / hour.  https://washington.uloop.com/jobs/view.php/566818051-1494918000/PatRick-Environmental-Inc-Firefighters-Wildland?tlink=da3991df0709&rx_campaign=indeed51&rx_group=100721&rx_job=566818051-1494918000&rx_source=Indeed&rx_medium=cpc

LAW ENFORCEMENT

911 Dispatcher.  Pend Orielle County Sheriff Office (Spokane, Washington).  $2,720 – $3,060 / month.   Deadline 6/20/2017 @ 1500 hours.  No prior experience, just need to be trainable.  https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Pend-Oreille-County/jobs/Dispatcher-76a6b66f9eb802ca?q=Fire+Department

Police Officer (Lateral/Experienced). City of Puyallup (Washington).  $60,305 – $80,406 a year.  https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/puyallup/jobs/1390257/police-officer-experienced-lateral

 

(c) 2017 The NW Fire Blog

October 1st is National Fire Pup Day

INTRO

When you first think of this National Holiday you probably think of the black and white spotted dog best known as the Dalmatian that hangs out with the firefighters at the Station House.  There are so many breeds making great strides in saving lives, as well as making a difference in their communities we would like to recognize that includes  Fire and SAR dogs.

FIRE PUP FACTS

Dalmatians started out their careers in the role of aiding horse-drawn carriages (firefighting apparatus) by running in front of them to clear the pathway leading both firefighters and horses to fires.  Some references even say that when they ran in front of the apparatus, they barked as if they were “sounding the alarm” notifying people a fire response was coming down their streets.

Because of the Dalmatians breed traits, dogs were easily able to jump from the horse-drawn era to fire trucks with strengths in guarding apparatus and later becoming firehouse mascots.  They were said to be easily trained and were heavily relied upon due to their biggest trait of being great guard dogs and watching over apparatus at fires.

Today, Dalmatians are still the same iconic breed of firehouses everywhere but there are other breeds in the Fire Service that have committed Heroic actions that we are including on this Special Day.

STORIES ABOUT FIRE DOGS

We have gleaned information from various sources about dogs saving lives and here is a small compilation:

Jake, Fire Pup Rescued Twice

Hanahan Fire Department (SC) Firefighter Lindler saw smoke coming from a neighbor’s yard and just did what was natural  in responding to the scene with equipment. Seeing that a shed was on fire, the dog’s owners screamed out their 3-week old pup was inside the building.  Firefighter Lindler rescued the pup from the burning shed and could see this poor fella had  burns over 75-percent of his body.

He was taken to a vet for immediate care but would be later given up by his owners because they were unable to pay the vet bills. The Firefighter who would follow-up at a later point on the pup’s condition would learn about this terrible news. His heart sank but it seemed only natural to adopt him and naming him Jake.  He had been rescued twice in his short life.

Jake quickly recovered when he was brought to the fire house and was loved on by his new adopted family.  He has turned from rescued pup to Fire Prevention Dog.  His owner is thinking he would make a great Arson Detection Dog.  He has been featured in a recent Humane Society calendar and has his own Facebook Page.

Learn more below.

Read about how Jake is helping kids and may even get a shot at becoming an Arson Detection Dog.  He is amazing and you will love his story as much as we have.

Jake is now a “Public Figure” as listed on his Facebook page here –> > https://www.facebook.com/JaketheFirePibble/.

Read his full story and see pictures (warning: may be disturbing to some)  Woman’s Day (UK news) > http://www.womansworld.com/posts/this-little-pup-was-rescued-from-a-fire-but-it-s-what-he-does-today-that-will-really-melt-your-heart-93651

Bretagne, the last surviving Fire SAR Dog of 9/11

Bretagne, a Golden Retriever was age two when she was deployed for her first mission as a newly certified FEMA SAR Dog to the 9/11 WTC disaster looking for survivors then remains. For 10 days, she worked tirelessly with her handler, Denise Corliss.  She also logged in hours at Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Ivan. Bretagne had many great  years of service. She passed away in 2016 just shy of her 17th birthday. She received a highly decorated memorial by those who loved her.

Read her story here –> https://www.rt.com/usa/345736-911-rescue-dog-dies/

Tilley, Rescue Pup turns Firehouse Pup

A Fire Station sticking with tradition of having a dog presence at their Fire Station changed it up one day when two firefighters from the Cass County Fire District No. 1/New Waverly Fire Department went across the street to pick up a new dog.  Firefighter Kyle Anderson and their Department’s Fire Chief, Rex Danely (a self-proclaimed K9 lover) rescued a pup from the Humane Society and brought the dog back.  His primary duties are to offer a calm presence, accept treats and lots of petting from kids who come to see him regularly.  The Chief felt they needed a “canine” presence.  They have never looked back and Tilley has helped many along the way returning the favor many times over.

Check out their story here –> http://www.firerescue1.com/fire-department-management/articles/124516018-Firehouse-dog-Mans-best-friend-finds-home-at-station/

The London Dogs

Sherlock, Murphy and Rosco (retired) are trained by the best in the London Fire Brigade (UK) as arson detection dogs.  Their keen sense of smell is what helps them find fire causes.

Check out their stories here –> http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/meet-london-fire-brigades-firefighting-10318441

FIRE PUPS DOING AMAZING THINGS

Fire Pups are trained in many aspects of helping others.  Here are some of the amazing these dogs do in the Fire Service.

  • Search and Rescue (Disaster)
  • Arson Detection
  • Fire Prevention
  • Calm Presence during Fire Incident
  • Firehouse Presence

This post is dedicated to all Fire and SAR Dogs everywhere.  We Salute You!

HAPPY NATIONAL FIRE PUP DAY!

#NationalFirePupDay

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog

#VA #AmberAlert | #HaveYouSeenMe ??

     AMBER ALERT     AMBER ALERT     AMBER ALERT    AMBER ALERT    

Scottsville VA | An Amber Alert was issue today for the kidnapping of little Haven Melina Moses last seen at 5128 W River Road in Scottsville, VA on Saturdaay, February 6, 2016. Haven is described as a white female, born May 22, 2012.  She is 3′, 30# with straight blonde hair and blue eyes.

HAVEN MELINA MOSES – MISSING CHILD

amberva

Her abductor is James Arnold Moses III whom is descrbed as a white male with straight black hair and brown eyes.  He is 5’4″ and 130#.  He is said to be driving an unknown Honda  with unknown plates heading to the Augusta – Rockingham County area.

JAMES ARNOLD MOSES III- ABDUCTOR

 

 

Source:  http://www.vaamberalert.com/

ANYONE HAVING INFORMATION SHOULD CONTACT: Fluvanna County Sheriffs Office at 1-434-589-8211 or Virginia State Police at 1-800-822-4453.

The #NWFireBlog 

US Coast Guard: How to Call for Assistance if on Water

Posted by LT Stephanie Young, Thursday, June 20, 2013

A digital selective calling VHF-FM marine-band radio allows for a digital transfer between radios versus voice transmission which allows mariners to instantly send an automatically formatted distress alert to the Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill.

A digital selective calling VHF-FM marine-band radio allows for a digital transfer between radios versus voice transmission which allows mariners to instantly send an automatically formatted distress alert to the Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandyn Hill.

Written by Lt. Cmdr. Connie Braesch.

Knowing how to reach the Coast Guard in an emergency is an important step in getting help quickly. Dialing 9-1-1 may be the best for an emergency on land, but not on the water. Boaters should use marine two-way radios, not cell phones. These broadcast radios allow everyone to listen; whereas a phone call only goes to the number dialed.

Okay, so you have your two-way marine radio. But, how do you know which frequency to use? Choosing the right radio channel or frequency can be confusing.

What is VHF and when do you use it?

Very High Frequency, or VHF, is for emergency and routine line of sight for communications over short distances. Channel 16, is the voice distress channel monitored by the Coast Guard and your fellow boaters on VHF. It is very important to monitor Channel 16; it may save your life or someone else’s. Channel 70 is the digital equivalent of Channel 16, providing your location and identity on a properly configure VHF digital selective calling, or DSC, radios. A complete list of channels can be found at the Coast Guard Navigation Center’s Website.

What is HF and when do you use it?

Petty Officer 1st Class Ramona Mason, an operations specialist, monitors radio traffic in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bradshaw.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ramona Mason, an operations specialist, monitors radio traffic in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Bradshaw.

High Frequency, or HF, is for emergency and routine beyond line of sight for communications. Unlike VHF which can be heard up to 20 nautical miles, HF calls can travel over great distances from hundreds to thousands of mile due to signal bouncing and atmospheric conditions. In general the Coast Guard and professional mariners monitor frequencies between 4 and 25 megahertz. An exact listing of frequencies can be found at the Coast Guard Navigation Center’s Website.

What is MF and when do you use it?

The Medium Frequency, or MF, distress frequency is found on 2182 kilohertz. While the Coast Guard will no longer monitor the MF distress frequency as of August 1, 2013, mariners can alternatively use HF radio frequencies or Digital Select Calling in the 4 to 12 megahertz bands.

Are there other ways to contact the Coast Guard in an emergency?

The International Maritime Organization, Coast Guard and Federal Communications Commission strongly recommend the use of a 406 megahertz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, to indicate a distress situation. EPIRBs are satellite-based and route your identification and position to the appropriate rescue authority. In addition to your location, a properly registered beacon provides owner identity, vessel description and emergency points of contact to the rescue authority.

All clear now? If not, drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you. Understanding how to reach the Coast Guard is important to getting help in an emergency and we want everyone to have a safe boating season.

Source:  U.S. Coast Guard

Reblogged:  6/27/13 1245 PDT

 

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