The Clay County Sheriff's Department's business phone service is up and running after a transformer caught fire Monday night. The Emergency 911 service for the county was never affected, authorities say.
Personnel from the Brazil City Fire Department responded to a transformer fire at a pole located behind the Alabama Bay Bar and Grill around 6 p.m. The fire caused phone problems for the sheriff's department, area residents and caused the stoplight at the intersection of Alabama and U.S. 40 to malfunction.
"We're like everyone else when there is a problem with the phone system, we have to call a service technician to fix it," Emergency 911 Director John Turner said.
Technicians from Verizon VIP Repair, which specializes in 911 service, had the system operating again around 10:30 p.m. last night.
"We didn't really lose 911 service," Turner said, adding that he called the system around 8 p.m. last night from a land line and was immediately connected to a dispatcher at the CCSD. "The business lines for land line phone calls to the dispatchers office were the only lines affected. The lines had a busy tone when called."
A nationwide policy regarding 911 emergency service allows for calls to be transferred to the next available emergency call center when one county is unable to answer to ensure public safety, said officials.
Anytime a 911 call into the CCSD is unable to be answered locally the call is forwarded to the Indiana State Police post located in Terre Haute.
The Indiana State Highway Department has been notified about the malfunction of the stoplights at the intersection of Alabama and U.S. 40, and the problem will be corrected as soon as possible.