Dispatchers can only take one call at a time and if a second person calls, they won't get through.
An emergency dispatcher's job is stressful as is, but when you add a failure to the system it compounds the stress.
One of the components of the 911 system had a type of electrical surge that caused nearly the entire system to crash.
The main piece of equipment used in the dispatch system, the one that sends all the calls through, simply put, fried.
It now only allows one 911 call at a time.
"We know that we're tying up the one and only line," said Brownwood PD, Communications Supervisor, Kim Chandler. "But we will take the time with you to get the information out of you that we need, but we will need to be quick about it."
When they are forced to do without, they realize just how much they miss it.
"As we're learning that's our life," said Brownwood Assistant Police Chief, James Fuller. "When you have seven or eight phone lines dedicated to 911, we're able to help the community out a lot better. But right now with just one we have to rely on the community to remember the other phone numbers. That's going to cause a delay up to minutes to help somebody that's injured or in trouble."
The hold can delay emergency crews minutes. In a dispatchers world that can seem like a life-time.
They insist they're working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.
Brown County is working with West Central Texas Council of Governments. They're the entity responsible for purchasing equipment and maintenance for the public service dispatch centers for 18 counties in this area, including Brown County.
They too understand just how much an issue like this can effect the dispatch center.
"They work in a very difficult job, a high stress job," said Executive Director of the WCTCG, Tom Smith. "When you complicate that job with changes or break downs in our system, it makes it even more difficult."
This kind of failure rarely happens which is why they have to get with the company that built the component.
"As soon as it's out, it's going to be rushed to us and we're gonna get it installed," commented Smith.
That day can't come soon enough for those taking your emergency calls.
Chandler added, "I'll be glad when it's over."
While it could take as long as Wednesday, they optimistically hope it can be fixed by Tuesday afternoon.
For the time being, if there is an emergency and you get a busy tone when calling 911, call the Brownwood Law Enforcement Center's main line. That number is 325-646-2525.