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TMCNet:  Widespread outage hit police, fire departments Callers could still get through using 911 [Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H. :: ]

[September 03, 2014]

Widespread outage hit police, fire departments Callers could still get through using 911 [Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H. :: ]

(Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 03--DOVER -- Non-emergency lines to some local police and fire departments were down Sunday night due to an outage, according to local officials.

Strafford County Sheriff Capt. Rob Williams said business, fax and non-emergency lines to the communications center were affected from about 6 p.m. Sunday to midnight, but emergency calls were not.

Williams believed the outage spanned from communities as far north as Laconia to Rockingham County communities.

"We have a backup 911 line that goes right into the dispatch center," Williams said.

The Strafford County Dispatch Center provides police dispatching services to Barrington, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Lee, Durham, Strafford and Rollinsford. In addition, they provide fire dispatching services for Farmington, Middleton, New Durham and Durham, and EMS dispatching for Farmington, Middleton and New Durham.

It is unclear whether all Strafford County communities were affected.

BayRing provides Internet and phone services for the Sheriff's Office. A call to BayRing was not returned on Tuesday and the cause of the outage remains unknown.

It was also reported Sunday that an issue with Fairpoint in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont contributed to the issue, but a Fairpoint spokesperson could not confirm this on Tuesday.

A message to Capt Bill Breault of the Dover Police Department was not returned by deadline on Tuesday.

Somersworth Police Lt. Tim Macklin said business lines there experienced an outage for a short time Sunday evening; however there are dedicated cell phones at their dispatch center able to handle business calls in these events. Service to 911 was not interrupted, he said, and thanks to the cell phones, neither were calls to the non-emergency line.

Somersworth Police Department receives phone and Internet service through BayRing as well.

The Strafford County Dispatch Center is the direct after-hours contact for numerous other agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Offices in New Hampshire and Maine, the Durham Public Works Department, the Farmington Water Department, the Medical Examiner's Office and the Strafford County Sheriff's Office.

"We were able to receive a 911 call and dispatch to officers in the field," Williams said, pointing out there was no disruption to emergency service nor any need to reroute 911 calls coming into the center.

Although Internet services were also down temporarily, Williams said the IT department was able to transfer SCSO services to Comcast.

"It really doesn't happen all that often," Williams said. "But when these things do happen, we have these back up measures in place to ensure the safety of the public." ___ (c)2014 the Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.) Visit the Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, N.H.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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