NYC’s 911 System Was Down For Almost Two Hours Monday

November 4, 2014 | Amy K. Nelson

For two hours on Monday afternoon, the city’s emergency response system was down. Dispatchers had to go straight analog by writing down calls and radio-ing them in from 2:15 – 4:05 PM, according to the Daily News.

Perhaps the most frightening part is that when the computerized system is down, dispatchers have no way of knowing which police units are dispatched and what calls they are handling. Of course, the FDNY disputed that there was any real chaos generated, even though the city’s most important public safety service shit the bed.

Said the department’s spokesman Jim Long:

This outage had nothing to do with being able to receive 911 calls. We were in constant contact with the NYPD. We had no problem getting in touch.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the system went down, but it’s just another instance of trouble. The Department Of Investigations released a report on the emergency services operations in late October saying that its findings “exposed an antiquated, unwieldy system for dispatching ambulances to the scene … that substantially increases the opportunity for human error.”

That investigation was launched after two four-year-old siblings died in a fire in April after it took three phone transfers for an ambulance to arrive finally, more than 20 minutes later.

No word on whether there were any E-word calls that had to be hand-written yesterday.

(Photo: Davis Staedtler)