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Local News July 11, 2013  RSS feed

Pol Seeking Details On 911 Problems

Setbacks Come Following $2 Billion Hotline Upgrade

City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, wrote to Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway to follow up on several issues with the city’s new 911 system.

On Friday, June 21, Deputy Mayor Holloway testified at a City Council hearing about the City’s 911 upgrade.

In her letter, Crowley raised a number of points:

• NYPD call takers and dispatchers are working an unsustainable amount of overtime, and the city must commit to hiring more operators.

• Police officers radioing in medical calls do not have the option to conference with EMD dispatchers for pre-arrival instructions.

• The city must review the priority status framework for emergency calls.

• The city should form a working group with FDNY, NYPD, and OCEC to evaluate and test new technology.

Deputy Mayor Holloway promised a thorough investigation into why an ambulance was delayed more than four minutes when 4-year-old Ariel Russo was struck and killed by an unlicensed driver.

Crowley requested an update on the investigation.

The New York Daily News reported that one-third to one-quarter of NYPD calls processed through the new Intergraph Computer Aided Dispatch system fail to reach EMD dispatchers and are entered into the as a “lost call.”

The Council Member requested a full review of lost calls, and how the city can address this issue.

“We need to know that when they call 911, help is on the way,” said Crowley. “There are serious concerns about the city’s $2 billion 911 upgrade, and New Yorkers deserve the truth about the system and how the administration is working to improve it.”