After six months of testing, a $2 billion overhaul of the city’s emergency operation, including a $73 million computer system and $680 million call center, stopped working at least three times in its first two days. On Wednesday, when it first got really hot out and 911 calls typically increase, there was a sixteen-minute crash that forced operators to fill out emergency slips by hand and have “runners” take them to the dispatchers. “It was pandemonium,” an operator told the Daily News. “There weren’t a lot of runners. We were all waving our slips in the air.” Awesome.
Yesterday saw two more crashes, the Times reports, although the NYPD and the mayor’s office insisted it was just a little glitch and that every call was answered and addressed. Still, pen and paper isn’t what everyone had in mind when Mayor Bloomberg insisted on the massive, expensive upgrade. An initial report on the new system warned last year that things were a mess, but it was supposed to get better before launch. The full expansion is expected to be done by 2015, which is not exactly comforting on a minute-to-minute basis.