911 system crashes across Massachusetts

The 911 emergency system was down statewide for two o’clock in Massachusetts Tuesday afternoon.

State officials informed the public that the problem had been resolved and the 911 system was restored at 3:49 p.m., nearly two hours after the outage began.

The Massachusetts State Department of 911 said Wednesday that the exit was called by a firewall, a security device that provides protection against cyberattacks and hacking.

The statewide outage began at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, forcing the department to resolve the issue with its 911 provider Comtech.

A preliminary investigation determined that the finding was the result of a firewall that “blocked calls from arriving at 911 dispatch centers.” However, it is unclear why the firewall blocked the calls and the cause remains under investigation.

An initial review of the incident by Comtech “confirmed that the outage was not the result of a cyberattack or hack,” the department said. Comtech informed State 911 “that they have implemented a technical solution to ensure this does not happen again.”

The ministry said the outage lasted two hours and service was fully restored by 3:15 p.m. The ministry did not receive any reports of affected emergencies during the outage. Although some calls may not have gone through during the two-hour outage, dispatch centers were able to identify phone numbers and return calls.

The Boston Police Department warned the public Tuesday afternoon: “If you experience an emergency, please remove a fire box. »

Boston residents needing help were advised to contact local precincts via their local phone numbers, remove the fire department or approach an officer as police patrolled the city with blue lights activated “for high visibility” in the middle of the closure.

Police in Worcester, Malden and Medford also warned residents that the 911 system was down and urged them to contact authorities using administrative numbers.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu acknowledged the problem during a press conference about the Boston Celtics’ NBA championship victory.

“The calls are not going through. We have been in contact with the state and all relevant officials to work to resolve this issue,” Wu said. “There are several places on the police website where you can find the phone numbers of all district police stations, and these will also be available on social media.”

Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox said it was clear how long the outing would last.

“This could be very temporary,” he said. “We’re waiting to know a little bit later how long this is going to last, but we thought it was especially important with the heat we’re going to experience, to make sure that we give people a chance to know what’s going on regarding the 911 system.”

Some residents of Connecticut, New York and Maine mistakenly received the same wireless emergency alert informing them of a 911 outage. Officials in the three states clarified that the alert was intended exclusively for residents of Massachusetts .

A second alert from the utility in New York clarified minutes after the initial erroneous operation that 911 was not down, and Connecticut officials on X clarified that Connecticut was not experiencing a 911 outage either .

In April, law enforcement agencies in four states experienced 911 outages that prevented millions of people from quickly contacting authorities. The outages appeared to be linked to a cut wire during the installation of a street light, and services were restored within hours.

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