Update: Majority of Fort Drum Phone Services Are RestoredPosted: Updated:
Update: Fort Drum announced Thursday afternoon that the majority of all voice services on post have been restored. Officials said technicians will continue to monitor the system and ensure the issues are fully resolved. Earlier in the day, officials announced that the MEDDAC appointment phone lines were back up and running. Beneficiaries can now call in to make appointments or use www.TRICAREonline.com to book, change and cancel appointments. What follows is our original story.
Fort Drum is having problems with some of its phones after what it calls "a catastrophic breakdown" of its land-line phone system Monday.
Officials said the parts and engineering support to fix the system are not readily available as the Army is moving to voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phone systems.
Currently all phone systems that support emergency support services are functional. However, Fort Drum Medical Activity (MEDDAC) is unable to receive calls on its appointment line, pharmacy refill line and many other departmental lines.
Although crews are working to fix the problem, there's no estimate as to how long it will take to repair.
"I don't think anybody knows when we will be fully functional," Fort Drum spokesperson Julie Halpin said. "I think that we should have a good phone directory and enough voice-over-IP phone lines out there that our customers and community partners will be able to get ahold of us reliably within the next couple of days."
In the meantime, Fort Drum MEDDAC beneficiaries looking to make, cancel or change an appointment or refill a prescription are asked to use the TRICARE Online portal at www.tricareonline.com.
According to a statement from Fort Drum, additional options for making appointments include messaging MEDDAC through Relay Health's Army Medicine Secure Messaging Service by going to www.TOLSecureMessaging.com. Beneficiaries can also make same day appointments through the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line by calling 1-888-TRICARE (847-2273).
Over the coming days, additional functions on post will come back online via VOIP, although some agencies may have a single contact number or a new number, Fort Drum said.
Fort Drum says it's currently working to collate functional cellular and VOIP phone numbers. When a comprehensive phone directory is established, it will be posted to the Fort Drum web page www.drum.army.mil.