Allegheny County, Pittsburgh 911 dispatch goes down after battery fails

allegheny-county-911By Margaret Harding – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Emergency radio dispatch communications failed in Allegheny County and Pittsburgh on Thursday morning, officials said.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Mike Huss said the uninterruptable power system, the battery that keeps radio communications running in the event of a power outage, went out around 7:15 a.m.

“We lost our radio infrastructure,” Huss said. “We pretty much lost every channel but EMS Channel 2 in the city.”

The county’s Emergency Operations Center could receive 911 calls, but officials had to dispatch first responders using phones and mobile data terminals, Huss said. He said at 8:30 a.m. that channels were coming back into use.

“We’re slowly bringing them around,” Huss said.

County spokeswoman Amie Downs said a technician was en route.

“There’s a switch down and they switched to the back-up system,” Downs said. “Regular 911 isn’t impacted at all. They switched everything around.”

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