Telephone lines still down, impacting many in the community

Phone lines down causing communication problem

BAKERSFIELD -  

Telephone lines at Kern County Public Health are still out tonight as crews work on repairing a wire that was accidentally cut on Union Avenue.  It’s a mistake that could take some time to fix.

Leaders with Kern County Public Health Services say crews will be working late and it could take anywhere between a few hours to a couple of days before the phones are back up and running again.

Telephone lines are still out.  It's a problem leaders have been dealing with all day.

"We were unable to receive incoming calls so we found it very difficult to communicate with the public, the residents that we serve," said Matt Constantine, director for Kern County Public Health.

Without a working landline people are unable to reach animal control, emergency medical services, environmental health or public health.

"It makes it difficult for us to respond.  We take a lot of pride in our ability to quickly respond to issues and so without that we lost that link," he said.

Many employees work in the field and the outage is leaving nurses, health inspectors and animal control officers with a big communication gap.

"Public health is there for the ability to assist the public, to serve the public and without that connection, we're very limited and so with the help of communications with the county, we were able to establish this secondary line, established for this temporary situation," he said.

The problem is also impacting kern medical center where patients are being asked to use cell phones to dial out until the lines are restored. 

"AT&T was notified that there was some construction project that cut one of the main lines in a very difficult spot to repair.  They are actively working on it," said Constantine.

Initially, health department leaders thought crews would have the problem fix by 2 a.m., but now say the outage could last through tomorrow or even Monday.

If you need to contact Kern Medical Center you can dial: (661) 706-6722.

To contact Kern County Public Health Services Department you can dial: (661) 862-8818.

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