Dukes County Emergency Communications Steadfast Through Bad Weather

Assistance from many agencies appreciated...

From the Office of the Dukes County Sheriff:

DUKES COUNTY – Due to high, damaging winds and adverse weather conditions, the Dukes County Regional Emergency Communication Center lost power in the early morning hours of Thursday, October 17th. Lights may have gone dark in the center, but dispatchers never lost the ability to communicate with the public, Police, Fire and EMS. With support from Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office and through the use of the Martha’s Vineyard Law Enforcement Council Mobile Command Unit, the Emergency 911 line for Dukes County stayed up throughout the night, fielding reports of live wires, downed trees, pole fires, flooding and more.

“We lost power, but we never lost communication.” Sheriff Ogden stated. When power went down at the Communications Center at around 1:00am, the generator for the building malfunctioned. Battery backup kept phone lines and computer systems functioning temporarily while Telecommunicators sprang into action. In the rare instance that systems go down, calls to 911 from Dukes County are temporarily routed through Barnstable County. Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office relays information to Dukes County Telecommunicators, who dispatch local public safety agencies manually via radio and mobile phones. Dukes County Telecommunicators were prepared, dispatching from the Mobile Command Unit until power was fully restored and the faulty generator was replaced, at approximately 8:30am. The non-emergency Communication Center line experienced an interruption in service between 1:30am and 4:00am, and has since been fully operational.

“We wish to thank Sheriff Cummings and the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office for their mutual aid and incredibly valuable support throughout the evening,'' stated Sheriff Ogden. “I would like to acknowledge my Deputies at the Communication Center for their successful Herculean efforts to ensure public safety and maintain Emergency 911 Communication during this weather. They continue to keep cool heads as they work through challenges, steadfastly keeping an open line of communication with our public, Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services.”

For more information please contact the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office at 508-696-0820

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