Glitch causes 911 cell-phone call chaos : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

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Glitch causes 911 cell-phone call chaos

By Associated Press, 09/07/99

RAMINGHAM - Crossed telephone lines were blamed for wreaking havoc on 911 communications around Eastern Massachusetts yesterday.

Framingham police said they were deluged with 911 cell phone calls that were supposed to go to the State Police headquarters across town.

Sergeant William Delaney said his department received about 150 calls in a little over an hour. The calls originated from cellular phone users as far away as Martha's Vineyard and Londonderry, N.H.

A technical glitch in the cell phone network that serves State Police caused the problem, said Gary McLaughlin, director of dispatch services for State Police, which fields several thousand calls daily from around Massachusetts.

''Any time you have a technical glitch, you may have a delay, and in this business we're racing against time,'' McLaughlin said.

He said he did not believe the problem, which began just after 11 a.m., caused any serious delays to emergency assistance.

At Framingham police headquarters, dispatchers took notes on the important calls and then contacted the police department closest to the cellular user with the caller's information, according to Delaney.

Many of the phone calls concerned motor vehicle accidents, according to police.

This story ran on page B02 of the Boston Globe on 09/07/99. ) Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.

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-- Homer beanfang (, September 07, 1999

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