Jonesboro 911 Tower Collapses

APRIL 19, 2005 - Posted at 2:16 p.m. CDT, updated at 9:18 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Jonesboro's emergency 911 communications tower tumbled to the ground Tuesday afternoon, and is currently out of service.

According to City Hall spokesman Paul Copeland, the 540-foot tower collapsed at approximately 1:35 at its location near the city landfill on Strawfloor Road.  However, Copeland insisted that city officials have emergency communications under control.  "The county is assisting us with additional radios, and Alltell is supplying us with some phones," said Copeland.

911 Communications Director Bob Andrews says both the fire and police departments are now working on only one channel, when they're used to working with several more.

"We're still able to dispatch and we're still able to keep up with them, but it just means more work for the dispatchers," said Andrews.

Andrews said we should all know much more as far as how many channels will be restored, sometime on Wednesday.

It is important for people to know if they have an emergency, they can still call 911 and get the emergency attention needed.

"You're still going to get assistance sent to you.  It's still going to work.  It's just going to be more work for the dispatchers.  Everything is still going to work just like it is now," said Andrews.

Copeland said officials are not sure of what led to the tower's collapse, but an investigation is underway.  "There was a structural problem with the tower about five or six years ago, but we're not sure if this is related or not," he added.

(News Assignment Manager Randy Myers contributed to this report.)