PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you have Verizon Wireless, and you noticed your cell phone service was spotty this morning, you’re not alone.
The DownDetector Outage Map showed thousands of reports of problems with Verizon service, centered over Western Pennsylvania, parts of Ohio and parts of West Virginia on Tuesday morning.READ MORE: 'Sounded Like A Freight Train': Washington County Residents Say Storm Lasted Just Minutes, But Cleanup Will Go On For Days
The outage reports stretched from Pittsburgh to the City of Washington, Canonsburg, Bethel Park and even as far north as Youngstown and Erie.
Verizon Consumer Group Communications Manager David Weissmann said in a statement: “We are aware of on an issue that disrupted wireless service for some customers locally this morning. Service is now restored.”
At Allegheny County’s 911 center in Moon Township, the official word came to Emergency Management Chief Matt Brown.
Brown said Verizon notified first response centers from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, but Weissman told KDKA impacted customers in the Pittsburgh area were to the south and west.
That included Greg Porter’s crew. He works at the Ross/West View EMS.READ MORE: Free Dental Clinic Expects Large Turnout At David L. Lawrence Convention Center
“We have a significant amount of technology in all of our ambulances and response vehicles and it’s all Verizon based,” Porter said. “And when that cellular or data goes out, we have to resort back to old technology to find our way to houses.”
The responders use maps, but Porter said they also lose the cloud-based patient information that they access through laptops.
The heart monitors that they use to send real-time patient information to doctors at local hospitals were could not make a connection.
Chief Brown said with so many people dropping landline telephone service, the outage means those people had no way to contact emergency service providers.
The chief said the impact left users “realizing how vulnerable we all can be.”
First responders said everyone should plan ahead, just in case an outage happens again.
“I think knowing what your neighbors have is a good way to do that,” Porter said. “If you have a business close by to home and you need to make a call, businesses usually maintain landlines.”MORE NEWS: 5 Tornadoes Tear Through Western Pennsylvania
Brown said it was a quiet Tuesday morning, and no patients were harmed by the outage.