Local Emergency Communication System Goes Down

By: Rashi Vats Email
By: Rashi Vats Email

The emergency communications system went down for all of Brazos County this afternoon, so crews had to resort to backup equipment.

Police and fire departments in Bryan-College Station along with the Brazos County Sheriff's Office were all affected.

Patrick Corley with the county emergency communications district says the problem originated about 100 miles away from us.

"We share a common infrastructure, and it relies on a communications link between our local equipment here and a main control unit down in Tomball,” said Corley.

That's where officials tell us a fiber optic cable, that connects Brazos County to the primary operating hub in Harris County, was accidentally unplugged.

Local emergency departments went to plan B, but Corley says that failed.

"When we were moving over to our backup system, we discovered then that we had the same issue on our backup system, so we needed to move over to a set of backup channel. That resolved our problems,” said Corley.

Those channels only communicate within Brazos County. If during that time local crews needed help from surrounding counties, like in an event of a huge wildfire, there would be a problem.

"We are not going to be able to communicate with agencies outside of Brazos County. We would have to coordinate any kind of response that involved those agencies over the phone,” Corley said.

Fortunately Corley says no residents were affected because no emergency phone calls came in during the radio outage.

"We proved to ourselves today that we have a working backup system in place, and so there's really nothing to worry about,” said Corley.

All local emergency departments are now operating on the normal Brazos County emergency radio system.

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