NJ - Power surge zaps emergency lines

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Power surge zaps emergency lines


LAWRENCE -- Bell Atlantic officials this morning are expected to finish restoring downed power lines that interrupted fire and first aid service lines throughout Mercer County for eight hours yesterday.

A power surge of unknown origins downed Bell Atlantic equipment in the Dempster Fire Training Center on Lawrence Station Road around 8:30 a.m. yesterday, officials said.

The increase in voltage inadvertently damaged several LifeComm emergency lines, which are housed in the same building as the Bell Atlantic equipment, said Larry Omland, LifeComm chief of fire communications.

LifeComm, the privatized name for Mercer County Central Communications, is part of the countywide Dempster Fire Training Center, which dispatches for all county first aid, 911 and fire emergencies.

"The power surge had no effect on the 911 system but we used back-up radio and fire communications for much of yesterday," said Omland.

Omland said radio communications were restored about 4:30 p.m. but there was no lapse in emergency service.

The power surge could have been caused by a number of outside sources, Omland said, although it was most likely a downed telephone pole.


-- Doris (reaper1@mindspring.com), September 05, 2000

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