The Oxford County Regional Communications Center was up and running Wednesday night after it was struck by lightning around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to James Miclon. Miclon said that no 911 calls were lost or unanswered while the center’s systems were down.

PARIS – The director of the Oxford County Regional Communications Center said their main facility is “back up and running” after it was struck by lightning Wednesday evening.

OCRCC Director James Miclon said that, around 7:30 p.m., the lightning strike activated the building’s fire alarms.

After the staff was evacuated, Miclon said the center’s 911 calls were rerouted to the Maine State Police dispatch center in Gray, while the OCRCC’s backup communications plan was put into place.

Miclon said the communications center was “operational within 30 minutes of going down.”

“At no time were any 911 calls lost or unanswered,” he added. “The deputy director and two dispatchers went to our mobile communications trailer to set up our backup dispatch system. By 8 p.m., the backup radio system was up and running, and we were conducting radio checks with departments across the county.”

The employees are “still assessing damage to our equipment in the facility,” Miclon said Thursday. “At this time, we are taking 911 calls from our facility.”


He added that the OCRCC contacted Mike Smith from the Somerset County Regional Communications Center to place its Telecommunications Emergency Response Team on standby to “assist us with staffing if needed through this incident.”

Miclon lauded the Oxford County EMA, fire departments with Paris, Norway and Oxford, the Paris Police Department, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, and the dispatch centers for the Maine State Police, Lewiston and Auburn, and Cumberland, Franklin and Androscoggin counties for assisting the OCRCC during the downtime.

He also thanked Hazel Paakkonen of the county’s maintenance department, Al Larrivee from the county’s IT department, and Rick and Sharon Davol of Communication Consulting Services for “working late into the night to address any issues at our facility.”

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