If 911 goes down, call 784-2222
By Mike DiCicco
| | January 16, 2013
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Last month, the Marine Corps Base Quantico Mission Assurance Branch began publicizing a backup emergency number, 703-784-2222, to be used on base in the event that the 911 line should go out of service.
George Mading, dispatch coordinator at the base Provost Marshal’s Office, said the number is not new and was, in fact, the primary dispatch number for Quantico in the days before 911. The number reaches the base dispatch center for fire and police service.
“It’s always been the number up there, and it rings on every desk in the dispatch center,” Mading said.
These days, though, he said 911 should be the primary emergency line, and the alternate number is to be used only as a backup.
Mading said 911 outages are rare, but one did occur in Prince William County during the destructive “derecho” storm that ravaged the area in late June.
“There are weather issues — flooding, extreme freezing, tornadoes — that can take out emergency line trunks,” he said.
The alternate number “is just for redundancy purposes,” Mading said. “It’s a just-in-case. It’s a comfort and security blanket.”
— Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org