Residents of Old Saybrook received a false terror warning over speakers placed around town after a dispatcher made a series of mistakes.
Residents of Old Saybrook, Conn., received quite a shock after hearing the area was under a terrorist attack over the town's public address system on Sunday afternoon.
The Office of Emergency Management said a dispatcher accidentally made a series of errors, which caused the message to play over speakers placed around town. The message also warned residents to seek shelter.
"It's concerning that there was somebody making that sort of mistake," said Old Saybrook resident David Olsen.
Olsen was home at the time of the broadcast, but said he couldn't make out any of the words.
"I said, 'That's odd,' and I heard it again maybe 30 seconds or a minute later. I came to the door, opened up the door and didn't hear anything at all," said Olsen.
Reverse 911 calls were made through the Everbridge Emergency Notification System apologizing for the error and saying in part,
"There is no emergency, and there is no homeland security crisis in or near the Town of Old Saybrook."
Old Saybrook Police said in a statement Monday afternoon:
"The Town of Old Saybrook takes emergency preparedness and communication with the public during times of crisis very seriously. We have years of success using mass alerting systems to properly inform the public during emergencies and will continue that practice. Yesterday’s incident was an extremely unfortunate and localized event."
The Office of Emergency Management said it takes the matter very seriously and has begun an internal investigation into the dispatcher's actions.
First published August 19 2013, 11:44 AM