Dispatchers used personal cell phones while state’s 911 calling system was down

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HARTFORD – According to state and town officials, 911 phone lines were down for a short time on Friday evening after the state’s new calling system experienced problems.

Two reports were made of the glitch Friday around 6:25 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The call center’s emergency plan allowed 911 calls to be redirected to a 10-digit phone number or the old 911 system, and officials say emergency dispatchers used their personal cellphones to return 911 calls during the outage.

State police say there were no reports of delayed responses stemming from the blackouts. Spokeswoman Kelly Grant says AT&T worked on the problem as soon as it was reported and confirmed it stable on around 9:15 p.m., but it’s unclear what caused the outage. The 911 call centers have not experienced problems since Friday.

About 56 towns and dispatch centers with the new installed system were affected Friday evening, as well as all 12 state police barracks.

The new generation 911 system replaced the outdated system over a year ago.

The old 911 system was about 20 years old.

With additional reporting by the Associated Press.