General Dynamics - Pathfinder Ad

9-1-1 Magazine: Managing Emergency Communications

Priority Dispatch

Navigator 2018




Stratus Technologies

CAD, NG911 & Records Management


Recording Systems


Facilities Planning and Design

First Contact 911

Training Trends & Tactics




Holland Co     
Mobile Command Vehicles



Wave of 9-1-1 calls generated by Maine earthquake overwhelms system

Date: 2012-10-19
Share |

On October 16th, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake centered near Waterboro, Maine (where earthquakes of this size are a rarity), triggered a flood of calls to 9-1-1 - but not from people seeking emergency assistance.  Most were simply looking for information about the quake.

"What happens in some of these instances, like the earthquake the other day, power outages, and usually the first good snowstorm of the year, we start getting a lot of calls into the dispatch center that are not emergency calls," explained Robb Couture, a lieutenant with the South Portland Fire Department, to Portland (ME) news channel WCSH6. "What happens is those calls very quickly back-up, and people who are calling with actual emergencies may have to wait to have their calls answered."                        (photo:

The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) in Portland (pictured, right), which dispatches fire, police and medical personnel for Portland, South Portland, and Cape Elizabeth, received over 170 calls in about a half hour after the earthquake struck, making it nearly impossible for anyone with an emergency to get through without a lengthy wait.

"That 172 calls represents a little over half of our calls that we would get in a day," ECC director Tom Cavanaugh told WCSH6. "So that is a significant spike."

Read the full story at WCSH6 Portland (Maine), includes video story

- People, Places & Things/ (via WCSH6, 10/18/12)


Show: Newest | Oldest

Post a Comment

Log in or sign up to comment

9-1-1 Magazine is a Sponsor of the California Mobile Command Center Rally

Send mail to with questions or comments about this portal.

© 2010-2017 9-1-1 MAGAZINE and The content of this portal is the property of 9-1-1 MAGAZINE and  We encourage government public-safety agencies to share any content with their staff, however, all others must not duplicate or modify any content without prior written consent of 9-1-1 MAGAZINE. Email for permissions. For more information, read the Terms of Service. Continued access of this portal and system implies consent to the above statements and those maintained on the Terms of Service.

Powered by Solata

MCM Consulting Yellow Submarine Marketing

 Team Rennick

Holland Co