December 28, 2018 — Due to an ongoing nationwide issue affecting some household landline and wireless cellular carriers in Massachusetts, 9-1-1 calls made from either your home landline telephone or your cellular telephone may not go through.
The initial release of information regarding this issue this morning stated that the problem was confined to cellular 911 calls. However, updated information suggests that there may be a landline impact as well.
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.
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.
If you cannot locate your city or town’s 10-digit emergency number, please contact the State 9-1-1 Department at 508-872-2508 and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the emergency, including city or town, and they can transfer you to the correct department.
For those towns listed below that receive dispatch services from the Massachusetts State Police, please use the 10-digit emergency number for your town:
For towns dispatched by New Braintree Control, the 10-digit emergency number is 508-867-1170:
• East Brookfield
• New Braintree
• North Brookfield
• West Brookfield
For towns dispatched by Northampton Control, the 10-digit emergency number is 413-586-1508:
For towns dispatched by Shelburne Control, the 10-digit emergency number is 413-625-8200:
• New Salem
• Shelburne Falls
The Massachusetts State Police will send out additional updates as we learn more about the status of the carrier outages nationwide that are affecting 9-1-1 service in Massachusetts.
Additionally, Text-To-911 service is available in Massachusetts. Remember, “Call If You Can, Text If You Can’t.” It is important that you send the dispatcher the EXACT location, including CITY or TOWN, of your emergency so the proper help is sent.