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911 services in Massachusetts restored after brief outage

Dozens of communities reported the outage, but its cause was unclear.
Posted at 11:49 AM, Jun 18, 2024

Massachusetts’ 911 system experienced a statewide disruption Tuesday afternoon, making it impossible for people to reach emergency services for nearly two hours as officials worked to restore the network.

The state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security first posted about the outage on X just after 2 p.m. ET, later stating the system had been restored in a separate post just before 4 p.m.

The cause of the outage is still under investigation, the office said.

Law enforcement agencies across the state had advised citizens to use direct phone lines to contact their police departments and sheriff’s offices in the case of emergencies.

Meanwhile, the Boston Police Department and Boston Fire Department recommended people pull their nearest fire box to get emergency assistance.

A public safety alert was sent to residents’ phones to notify them about the 911 system outage around 2:45 p.m. ET, according to multiple reports.

The notification caused some confusion in other northeastern states, however, because residents in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New York also received the alert. Officials in those states have since clarified their emergency contact systems are operational, so it appears the outage only affected Massachusetts.

The disruption came at a time when the region is dealing with a period of extreme heat and the heat index could reach triple digits over the next couple of days. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a heat emergency for the city on Monday, encouraging citizens to limit outdoor activities and take advantage of cooling centers opened around the city.