Safety officials are warning of sporadic 911 outages for some cell phone and landline users across Massachusetts. State police and MEMA are urging residents who cannot reach 911 to instead dial the 10-digit number of their local police or fire department.
In a statement, Massachusetts 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."
The statement continued, urging residents to call 508-872-2508 if they cannot locate their city or town's 10-digit emergency number and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the emergency so they can transfer the call. We have added a list of police department phone numbers for Massachusetts cities and towns below.
The outages appear to be caused by nationwide disruptions in service by CenturyLink. The telecommunications company said in a tweet, "We are aware of some 911 service disruptions affecting various areas through the United States. ... Technicians are working to restore services."
The Washington Post has reported that the outage is also causing problems for emergency calls in Texas and Washington state. The FCC is opening an investigation.