FARMINGTON — The Franklin County Dispatch Center’s business phones and communication radios went down Monday afternoon for more than an hour after an electrical circuit was blown at the jail, Sheriff Dennis Pike said.

The emergency 911 call system was not affected, both Pike and Lt. Niles Yeaton said.
“From what I’ve been told, they were doing some welding at the jail and it blew a circuit,” Yeaton said.

The air ventilation system and the air conditioning at the jail were also knocked out, Pike said.

A crew from the Charleston correction facility is working on the jail retrofitting it for a 72-hour holding facility, he said.
They were welding some bunk beds and at the same time the air ventilation system kicked in and that caused the circuit to blow, Pike said.

The dispatch center has backup battery-powered phones that last about 30 minutes, he said.

Both radio and electrical service providers responded to find out what the problem was and to resolve it, Pike said. Once the problem was known, the main electrical server was reset, he said.

Dispatch also has a backup mobile radio to use for emergency communications, he said.

The county is also backed up by emergency radio communications by the Farmington and Jay police departments but neither had to be activated, Pike said.

Farmington police could be heard over the police scanners informing others when necessary about the outage.

“911 never failed,” he said, but if it ever did fail, it is backed up by the state communications center in Augusta.
“To our immediate knowledge there were no emergency communications that were not answered,” Pike said.

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