LINCOLN- Christa Yoakum has released the following statement regarding the recent Nebraska 911 service outages:
“Today, I’m calling for formal PSC investigations of the two 911 service outages that have occurred in Nebraska this summer. With an outage affecting Sarpy County in early June and another taking place in Southeast Nebraska just this week, I’m supporting official PSC fact-finding efforts to determine the causes and lessons of these system failures.
We depend on our public safety systems to provide immediate life-saving emergency care and protection for our communities. When these systems fail and that safety net is stripped away from our communities for an extended period of time, any personal emergency could potentially turn into a personal disaster. If our 911 system is not consistent and dependable, we are failing our citizens.
Earlier this week, District 2 Public Service Commissioner Crystal Rhoades offered a motion to launch a formal inquiry into the June 2018 911 outage in Sarpy County; This motion was denied by the rest of the Commission. Only one day after Rhoades’ motion failed, another widespread outage took out 911 service throughout Southeast Nebraska, including Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Pawnee, Nemaha, Otoe, and Seward counties- an area which includes much of my PSC District.
We owe it to ourselves to investigate why these outages occurred, how well response procedures worked, and what we can change so this doesn’t happen again. As a Public Service Commissioner, my utmost priority will be ensuring the safety and security of our communities.
Additionally, I support providing the necessary resources to our local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) so they can better prevent service outages. The hard-working staff of our 911 call centers deserve the very best support from public officials. These investigations will give us the facts, allowing the PSC to develop procedures, guidelines, and technological solutions so staff can do their jobs with the full backing of the State of Nebraska.”
Christa Yoakum is running for the open seat in District 1 of the Nebraska Public Service Commission. District 1 consists of the city of Lincoln, and Lancaster, Cass, Gage, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Richardson counties in southeast Nebraska. This is Yoakum’s first run for public office.