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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Questions remain about reliability of NYC's 911 system

NEW YORK - New York City's new computerized 911 systems have been in place for roughly two months. In that time there are allegations the system has crashed several times and caused a potentially fatal 4-minute delay responding to the accident that killed Ariel Russo, 4.

The Daily News reported that city officials have known that many emergency calls are lost in this computerized 911 system. 

The Daily News reported that one day after Russo was run over, EMS supervisor Lt. Carl Nunziata emailed EMS's chief of computer programming, Carla Murphy, that several jobs were lost. The next day, Murphy responded one-quarter to one-third of 911 calls are being lost.

The head of the union that represents 911 dispatchers, who have been blamed for the delay responding to Russo, said this clears them.

Mayoral candidates Bill Thompson and John Liu say the problem should be fixed immediately. Candidate Bill de Blasio has requested a probe by the city's Department of Investigation. So have Russo's parents.

The FDNY, which runs the 911 system, insists there is nothing wrong with it.

"The EMS system has received and handled 131,621 calls since May 29 and not a single one was lost," the department said. "The Ariel Russo case remains under investigation with the assistance of the Department of Investigation."

UPDATE: The NYPD sent Fox 5 a statement.

"There have been no calls lost by the new ICAD system as claimed in the Daily News front page story today. The FDNY founds the same thing: no lost calls," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in a statement.

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