FAIRFIELD — When a car accident Saturday knocked out power for six hours, including to the police station, emergency radios also stopped working and local police had to briefly use alternative communication devices.

A Vassalboro man died in the 11:20 a.m. crash on Norridgewock Road.

Power was lost to a wide area of Fairfield after the crash, including the police station downtown, for more than six hours.

Officer Shanna Blodgett couldn’t hear the accident call broadcast over the radio by the Somerset Regional Communications Center, said Waterville Deputy Police Chief Charles Rumsey Sunday. Rumsey is acting deputy chief for Fairfield.

“The radios were actually knocked out for a short period of time,” Rumsey said.

He said radios in police cruisers are linked to the radio base at the police station, where the generator didn’t immediately go on.

Rumsey said there was no delay in getting police and emergency services to the site of the accident, which was near the intersection with Old County Road.

Rumsey said dispatchers at the call center in Skowhegan sent Blodgett information on the crash via her mobile data terminal, a digital computer mounted in the police cruiser. Blodgett was then able to call the communications center using her cellphone.

“For a little while, until the radios were back up, they were communicating through their MDTs and through their cellphones,” Rumsey said.

Capt. Mike Murphy at the Fairfield fire station, also downtown, said on Sunday that power was not lost to that building, but the fire radio frequency was down for about 20 minutes.

Murphy said one of the department’s repeater bases, which carry messages from the Somerset communications center to a local tower where they are repeated to the fire station radios, was affected by the power outage.

He said fire and emergency medical personnel were able to hear radio traffic from other units and were sent to the scene without delay.

Rumsey said on Saturday that Frederic Bragdon, 69, died in the crash.

He said the man may have suffered from a medical condition that resulted in his pickup truck crashing into a utility pole and taking down power lines.

Bragdon was taken by Delta Ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Waterville where he was pronounced dead, according to Rumsey.

Allison Horton, an assistant manager at the Circle K store on Main Street said power was out until about 6 p.m.

“We closed,” she said. “Somebody was here, but we weren’t open to the public.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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