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Berkshires Impacted By Sporadic 911 Outage
Staff Reports,
01:10PM / Friday, December 28, 2018


PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The 911 system has been sporadically out of commission statewide on Friday and affecting most of Berkshire County.
 
The Massachusetts State Police released a statement shortly before 7 a.m. encouraging residents to call their local public safety departments directly instead of using the emergency reporting system. The issue was affecting both cellular and landline service.
 
"A nationwide outage affecting CenturyLink, an internet communications company, is impacting wireless 911 call capability in various parts of the country," reads the statement from state police.
 
Shortly after 1:30, MSP released an update saying the issue had not been resolved and encouraged residents to contact the local agency needed.
 
"You may hear a fast busy signal, hear a recording saying 'all circuits are busy' or something similar, or you may get connected to a different emergency call center than you were expecting," state police said.
 
"While you should always try to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, if the call will not go through because of this outage, you should make a second call to the 10-digit emergency number of your local police/fire department. These numbers are available on the Internet and available through Directory Assistance. Remember, it is important that you give your exact location to the dispatcher as it may not automatically display for the dispatcher."
 
CenturyLink released a statement saying full restoration has not been resolved and multiple dispatch municipalities reported sporadic outages. 
 
The Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, which serves the dispatch center for 26 towns, told residents to call 911 but "if you are still having issues calling 911 please call your local police department."
 
Cell phones buzzed throughout the county about noon with notifications about the problem from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and a second alert was sent at 1:36 p.m.
 
Pittsfield shortly afterward released a statement saying the outage has no impact on its system and residents there should continue calling 911.
 
North Adams, the next largest community that also runs its own dispatch center, has been affected.
 
"In any case where there is a need for 911 services and your call does not work or go through, please hang up and dial (413) 663-3313 which will be routed directly into our 911 Call Center," North Adams Police wrote on its Facebook page.
 
CenturyLink released a statement saying it will continue to provide updates throughout the day as it works to resolve the problems.
 
State police said if one cannot find the local number to call 508-872-2508 and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the emergency, including city or town, and they will connect to the correct department.
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