Here's a lovely local bit of steampunk tech come to save the day, from 1852:

"Because of the 911 outages, a resident ran outside and pulled the fire box on the sidewalk.

“I give credit to the resident for knowing to pull that box,” Firefighter Marc Sanders said.

The box system dates back to 1852. Sanders says the boxes are independent from any utility company and run off a low voltage battery system."

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@hhardy01 these were a thing in Britain too and ran parallel with the 999 voice service (first invented in UK) well into the 1960s when more phone boxes were provided (the Post Office ran both these systems)

But even then we had multiple routes for 999 calls and special protected circuits for Emergency Services (so dialling operator via 0/100 could also access them, and most European countries have similar systems for 112 (Communications Ministries also check up on service availability)

@hhardy01 the Netherlands and UK have in recent years suffered from sporadic access failures or risk of limited access to 112/999 calls (especially at peak times), in both cases a full investigation was carried out, the private involved were not just fined by the Communications Ministries (Ofcom UK and Agentschap Telecom NL) but ordered to invest in sufficient resources to further reduce the risk of such an incident happening again..

@hhardy01 I helped map this system for my city a couple years ago. It's slowly being decommissioned but the ones that still exist link directly to the fire department dispatch!

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