“This is the town of Ledyard calling with an emergency message.” That’s what residents heard in a message sent out by Ledyard police early Tuesday morning.
It sent out that message through its townwide alert system as well as in a text and messages on Facebook and Twitter, which other towns did as well when the statewide 911 system went down sometime around 2:00 a.m.
Residents were advised to call the routine line at Ledyard PD if they needed help.
“God forbid an emergency of any kind happened,” said Ledyard Police Lt. Ken Creutz. “If they called 911, help wouldn’t be coming, so we just thought it would be most prudent thing to do to let them know immediately as soon as we knew.”
“We did use the 911 one time and it was great. Saved my life,” said Ledyard resident Johanna Nolan.
She stopped by the police station after receiving her notification.
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“We like to be informed, you know?,” said Nolan. “Know what’s going on.”
Police say it’s a good idea to keep your local police department’s routine number in your phone or at home in case the 911 system goes down again.
“It doesn’t happen often. The state system is very good. It’s very resilient,” said Rick Fontana, Director of Emergency Operations for the City of New Haven which wasn’t affected by the 911 system outage.
The system has been improved in recent years with the latest feature the ability to text 911 and a mapping system which can pinpoint exact locations.
After calling 911 while News 8 was in the Ledyard dispatcher center, our location came up right at the police department, not just at the nearest cell tower like it would in the past.
“Very accurate,” said dispatcher Jonathan Burbank, who added that that helps him a lot when sending help. “100 percent, yes ma’am, it does.”
The 911 system was back up and running by 7:30 a.m. before many even noticed it had been down.
It could have affected more people if it didn’t happen overnight.