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911 Isn't the Number For V.I. Cell Phone Users

Jan. 11, 2004 –– Problems calling the 911 emergency number on cell phones has prompted the development of new numbers.
On St. Thomas and St. John, residents can call 776-9110 or, if the cell phone requires a 10-digit number, 1-340-776-9110.
On St. Croix, the number to call is 772-9111 or, if necessary, 1-340-772-9111.
Sgt. Thomas Hannah, police spokesman, said Monday that federal law requires that 911 number soon work on all cell phones. However, he was not certain of the date when they must work and was unable to obtain the information.
Sharon Coldren, president of the Coral Bay Community Council, said Monday, if you call 911 on your cell phone, you're likely not to connect at all, but if you do connect it is usually with Puerto Rico.
"And Puerto Rico can't patch you back," she said.
She said it happens often enough that emergency operators in Puerto Rico are familiar with the problem.
Hannah said that whom you reach, or if you reach anyone at all when dialing 911 from a cell phone, depends on the position of the satellite.
If you are calling from a land line, 911 is the still the emergency number to call on all islands.
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