2-hour statewide 911 outage blamed on firewall problem

The outage lasted from about 1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

June 19, 2024, 11:10 AM

A firewall meant to guard against a cyberattack caused a two-hour outage of Massachusetts' 911 system on Tuesday afternoon, according to the state's Executive Office of Public Safety.

The firewall, which protects against hacks and cyberattacks, prevented calls to 911 from reaching the 911 dispatch centers, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety said.

The outage wasn't caused by a hack or cyberattack, but "the exact reason the firewall stopped calls from reaching dispatch centers remains under review," the state officials said.

As the review continues, a "technical solution" was applied "to ensure that this does not happen again," the state officials said.

The outage lasted from about 1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

During the outage, Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox advised residents to call their local police department directly for police services.

"For medical or fire-related emergencies, you can use the red light call boxes located on street corners," Cox said.

He said any emergency reported to one service would be seamlessly relayed to the appropriate department.

"We have a robust system in place," Cox said. "Our agencies are well-coordinated and ready to support each other."