WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. --
First-responders in Palm Beach County lost all radio communication Thursday night.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue, West Palm Beach Police Department and other local agencies were all without communication.
Dispatchers use radio frequencies to send first-responders to emergencies.
The system broke down just before 9 p.m. and was completely silent for more than 45 minutes. The agencies had to rely on cell phones and pagers to get crews around.
A representative for Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue said the department was able to make it to all of its emergency calls using backup systems, like text pagers.
"All the pages still went out to them, and they knew where to go to respond to a call, as far as communicating to the individual crews," said Capt. Don DeLucia. "Then, we resorted to cell phones or whatever means of communication we could think of."
This is extremely rare, officials said. Fire-rescue said the last time this happened was during a hurricane.
Engineers said they're working to find the exact cause of the problem.
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