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NH authorities say 911 services remained online during Massachusetts outage

Appleswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire authorities said 911 services here were not impacted by the statewide outage in Massachusetts.

"New Hampshire 911 is not impacted by this outage - we are fully operational and have received no reports of callers unable to get through to 911," state officials wrote on social media Tuesday afternoon.

Some people in New Hampshire reported receiving an alert about the outage, but state officials said that message was related to issues in Massachusetts.

The 911 system across Massachusetts was restored Tuesday after going down for several hours, which made it impossible for anyone to reach emergency services through the call number.

The Massachusetts State Police announced around 3:45 p.m. that the system had been restored and that people could resume calling emergency services. They didn't provide any details behind the cause of the outage.

It was unclear how many communities were affected by outage, said Elaine Driscoll, director of communications and policy at the state's Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. It first was reported by several law enforcement agencies after 1 p.m.

At the time of the outage, Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox advised the public to contact local police departments if they need help.

"In addition, if you're having any issues that are medical related, or EMS or fire-related, you can go and pull your local call box, that's the red light boxes that fire departments have on local street corners, to also get medical attention that way," he said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said residents shouldn't worry about calling the correct number or facility for their emergency, but to just reach out to their nearest authorities.

"If you are experiencing an emergency, if you find your way to police, fire or EMS, we will make sure that you get to the right place," she said.

She said authorities were working to resolve the issue.

Cox said the disruption "could be very temporary."

"But we thought it was important, particularly with the heat that we're about to experience, to make sure that we give people the opportunity to know what's going on," he said.

Over at Tufts Medical Center, officials said operations were not impacted by the outage.

"Our internal emergency number for Public Safety remained active and functional during the outage and appropriate responders were able to be reached this way from within the hospital," Jeremy Lechan, the media relations manager for the hospital said. "We are very glad to hear that the issue has been resolved and people in need outside the hospital can once again get the medical assistance they require."

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association said he wasn't aware of any problems associated with the outage.

The Massachusetts disruption caused confusion in other northeastern states, where some residents also got notifications on their phones. But authorities in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York all said their systems were operational.

"We are aware that some individuals in Vermont have received wireless notifications about the Massachusetts event," Barbara Neal, executive director of the Vermont Enhanced 911 Board, said. "The official reason for that is unknown but it may be related to individuals having signed up for an alerting system in Massachusetts or having been at or near the Massachusetts border when the wireless alert was issued by Massachusetts."

Several years ago, Massachusetts suffered sporadic 911 outages. At the time, it was blamed on outages from Louisiana-based CenturyLink, which affected some Verizon customers.

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