GILLETTE, Wyo. — Campbell County publicly apologized Wednesday afternoon to a resident whose personal cell number was mistakenly provided as a public emergency contact during a regional communication blackout.
The blackout began in the early morning hours of Sept. 19 when communication crews incorrectly wired something while working on the fiber line. The mistake took multiple communication lines — including 911 — offline for several hours while the problem was addressed.
Shortly after the blackout, an emergency message went out to Campbell County residents, providing a list of numbers to contact in the event emergency services were needed. One of those numbers belonged to local resident Londen Tabor, who put out a notice on her social media advising people that she could not help with their emergencies and asking them not to call her.
“My phone was ringing off the hook,” Tabor said in a social media post, adding that she received over 150 calls after the message went out. “It was insane, and the thing is of the few calls I answered, they weren’t emergency calls. It says if you need 911 to call these numbers, not to just call and be like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’”
Service was restored later the same day. The apology from Campbell County came the following day, Sept. 20.
“As landline phones and emergency numbers have been restored, Campbell County Government and Campbell County Emergency Management want to take a moment to apologize to the individual impacted by the mistyped number added to the public service announcement yesterday,” the apology statement says.
The event was unprecedented and took offline landlines, some cellphones and emergency service lines of 911, per the statement.
“Campbell County officers were working as quickly as possible and we deeply regret the mistake that was made,” the apology says. “This individual was contacted by Emergency Management when the mistake was realized.”
Additional protocols for using the public safety announcement platform have already been established, the statement says, and an after-action review will take place with other county offices to improve responses to similar events in the future.
Tabor accepted Campbell County’s apology shortly after it was released, saying that there are more important things in the world to be upset about.
“It’s all good!! But I appreciate the apology,” Tabor posted on social media.