(WKBN) – Local dispatch centers across Mahoning and Trumbull counties have had difficulties getting incoming calls.
Officials say a severed fiber optic is being blamed for the issue.
“So many redundancies built into the system whenever there is a break in the line. We have so many back-up plans in place,” said Boardman police chief Todd Werth.
Boardman Police released two numbers to use: 330-610-1556 and 234-855-6176. If you live in Austintown or need to contact the Mahoning County Jail, they say you should use these numbers as well.
Under an agreement, many of the calls from around Mahoning County come in to either Boardman or Austintown’s dispatching centers and can then be routed to local communities.
Werth said the other alternative is a series of cell phones purchased through AT&T “First Net,” which can be used when other systems are down.
“First Net is subsidiary of AT&T. It came after 9-1-1 when there needed to be a priority network for first responders,” he said.
The chief said long breakdowns are rare, but there can be routine maintenance work done during periods when call volume is usually low, such as in the early morning.
He said there are back-up plans for those cases as well.
“You and I don’t know that our phones aren’t working for that very short period of time. Here, obviously, we have to have that in place 24 hours, you know, seven days a week here,” Werth said.
Springfield police said their non-emergency line is down. You can call 330-549-5338 instead.
Phone numbers in the City of Canfield, Damascus, Berlin and Ellsworth are also down. You can call 330-533-2017 or 330-533-4903.
Liberty residents can call 330-675-2730.
Phone lines for police and fire in Struthers are working. However, City Hall is not.
AT&T released the following statement about the outages in the area:
Due to damage in the local service provider’s network caused by recent severe weather, some customers in the Youngstown area may be experiencing issues with their service. We are engaged with their team as they work to repair affected equipment and restore service as quickly as possible.
There is no information yet on when it’s expected to be restored.
Stick with WKBN for updates on where this outage is affecting residents and when to expect phone lines to work.