Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Office of Unified Communications

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Unified Communications Center Loses Electrical Power

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
911 operations experiences minimal contact

(Washington, DC)  On July 8, 2014 at 12:47pm, the Unified Communications Center (UCC) lost electrical power.  The UCC houses the District’s Office of Unified Communications (OUC) and Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMA), both of which were temporarily affected by this interruption. 

Within the last 18 hours, the OUC noted irregular interruptions in the building’s power supply and requested that it be placed on generator supply. The agency also proactively moved staff to its alternate site, in an attempt to maintain continuity of 911 operations.  After 13 hours, the generators failed causing a catastrophic communications failure at the OUC. 
The temporary loss of power affected 911 and 311 telephone communications and radio communications for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS).  Specifically, 911 communications were degraded, resulting in longer than expected wait times; 311 communications were completely disabled for approximately 16 minutes; the radio communications system for MPD was severely impacted for approximately 5 minutes and continued to operate in back-up mode for another 20 minutes until full restoration; the FEMS radio system immediately went into back-up mode and remained operational throughout this period.  At this time power has been restored and all communications systems are functioning normally. 

The OUC is working with the Department of General Services (DGS) to find the root cause and address the power concerns leading to this outage.