Power Protection FEATURED ARTICLE


Emergency Services Put On Hold By Power Outage

June 28, 2017

By Alicia Young - Web Editor

We spend a lot of time in this space discussing power outages that occur because of rogue animals, lightning strikes and blizzards. However, the power can go out any day of the week, even if there are no curious animals poking around or massive storms brewing. All an outage needs to occur is a piece of faulty equipment, which is exactly what happened this past weekend in Hartford, CT.


According to the Hartford Courant, equipment issues led to a power outage at Hartford’s Public Safety Complex this past weekend. The outage occurred after a “perfect storm” of events that took place at about 10:30 p.m. Friday night, and it lasted until just before noon on Saturday. As a result, emergency dispatch personnel had to adopt a contingency plan for several hours, which involved relaying calls for service over radio.

Essentially, a technician from Frontier has to re-route all 911 calls to the dispatch center in East Hartford, according to Mike Bruce, the city's interim director of emergency services telecommunication. Two dispatchers were also sent to the center to handle all incoming Hartford calls. All calls were recorded by hand and then passed on through portable radios to patrol officers.

Obviously, this was not the most effective way to work which, when you’re dealing with emergency services, can mean life or death.

The real kicker is that all of this could have been avoided if the organization has appropriate power protection in place. According to the Hartford Courant, “The root of the problem was a ‘switch gear’ component in the building's electrical system. An Eversource transformer failure early Friday knocked out power to the block, causing the backup generators to turn on…Later in the day, when Eversource returned power to the area, the ‘switch gear’ was supposed to transfer power back to the municipal source from the generators. But the system didn't work, Bruce said, causing the building to run solely on backup batteries.”

Meanwhile, another system also failed because of a broken component. Therefore, the building’s backup batteries eventually failed, since they can only last for so long. As a result, the building was left in darkness and operators were left communicating crimes in an ineffective way.

All of this could have been avoided if the organization just had better power protection or an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) in place. Implementing powerful solutions, and maintaining them so that there are no broken bits, it essential to keep operations running even during an outage. This is especially important for companies where people’s lives are at stake, but can also be beneficial for average businesses that just want a little extra time to shut down their equipment properly during an outage.




Edited by Maurice Nagle


Article comments powered by Disqus

Power Your campus

Featured Whitepapers

Security & Power: The Critical Role of Power Protection for Security

This White Paper provides security users and installers with valuable information about the importance of power protection for security equipment.

Saving Time & Money with Remote Power Management

This White Paper provides statistics and information about the cost of downtime related to remote equipment, and how organizations can benefit from including remote power management products (IP-addressable PDUs) in their power protection strategy.

Powering Your Disaster Planning

The white paper describes key components of a comprehensive plan to prevent businesses and other organizations from suffering severe consequences as a result of a power outage.

Featured Technotes

What is 3-phase Power?

This installment of the TechNotes series takes you through the basics of single, dual, and 3-phase power, giving you the knowledge to decide which type of power is best for your needs.

Endeavor: Added Runtime vs. Added Cost

This TechNotes paper looks at the relationship between added cost and added runtime when including XL battery packs with Minuteman Endeavor 1kVA, 2kVA, & 3kVA UPSs.

Featured Podcast

The Importance of Remote Power Management for Disaster Preparedness

TMC podcast with Minuteman UPS/Para Systems on the importance of remote power management solutions for optimum power protection.