The FDNY’s Emergency Dispatch System Kept Freezing Today

By
BE033A

The FDNY's Emergency Medical Services operators had to record caller information with pens and paper and use radios to communicate with ambulances for a total of 45 minutes this morning because their computers repeatedly froze. Exactly what happened is unclear: New York Post sources blamed the stalling on old software that is scheduled to be replaced in 2015 as part of an ongoing, $2 billion update to the city's entire 911 system. However, the NYPD, which has already gotten the new software, has experienced a few similar outages since it was installed in May, and New York Daily News sources said the police dispatchers had trouble with their computers at the same time as their FDNY counterparts did today. FDNY spokespeople said only about 100 calls were processed the old-fashioned way during the outage, which did not appear to cause any problems for patients dealing with slower-than-usual ambulance response times. Still, this should put the life-and-death seriousness of your own work-computer problems in perspective.